Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2014;163(1):43-50. doi: 10.1159/000355630. Epub 2013 Nov 16.

Effects of airborne birch pollen levels on clinical symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis.

Author information

  • 1Service de Pneumologie, Hôpital Gabriel Montpied, Clermont-Ferrand, France.



Most panel studies focusing on rhinitis and conjunctivitis symptoms and birch pollen have been performed on a linear basis and have not included air pollution and meteorological variables as potential confounders. The objective of this panel study was to assess the relationship between symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and daily airborne birch pollen concentrations, checking with adequate statistical tools the shapes of concentration-response curves and controlling for confounders.


The severity of rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and bronchial symptoms was recorded daily in March and April 2010 (3,311 person-days) in 61 seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis patients sensitized to birch. Data were analyzed with generalized additive and generalized estimating equation models to quantify the effects of birch pollens.


The relationship between birch pollen and the percentage of patients with nasal, ocular and bronchial symptoms was linear until birch daily average concentrations of, respectively, 110, 70, and 70 grains/m(3); it reached a plateau thereafter. For an increase of 10 grains/m(3), the OR (95% CI) for nasal, ocular, and bronchial symptoms were, respectively, 1.07 (1.03-1.12), 1.17 (1.08-1.27), and 1.12 (1.03-1.21). At the beginning of the season, no nasal or ocular symptoms were observed below a threshold of 30 grains/m(3).


Adequate modeling regression shows that the clinical response to natural exposure to birch pollen in sensitized patients varies during Betula pollen season, with a threshold at the beginning of the season, while over the whole season the relationship is linear for nasal, ocular, and bronchial symptoms up to a saturation point, followed by a plateau.

© 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk