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Original Article


Pollen allergy in Cordoba city: frequency of sensitization and relation with antihistamine sales


J. A. Sánchez-Mesa*, P. Serrano**, P. Cariñanos*, J. C. Prieto-Baena*, C. Moreno**, F. Guerra**, C. Galan*

* Department of Plant Biology. University of Córdoba. Spain.
** Allergy Unit. Reina Sofia Universitary Hospital. Córdoba. Spain.

J Invest Allergol Clin Immunol 2005; Vol. 15(1): 50-56



The occurrence of symptoms in pollen allergy patients in urban areas may be affected by local environmental factors such as sources of pollution, natural and ornamental vegetation, local architecture impeding dispersion, etc. The aim of this study was to analyse the frequency of sensitization in pollen allergy patients and the relationship with antihistamine sales.
For this study, a large number of clinical records, together with pharmaceutical and pollen data, were collected between 1999 and 2001 in the city of Córdoba, in the south of the Iberian Peninsula. Differences were observed in the symptoms suffered by pollen allergy patients in different areas of the city due to varying local emission of both biological and non-biological particles. Temporal distribution of symptoms over
the three study years was influenced by meteorological factors, especially rainfall patterns; higher water supply to plants was associated with increased airborne pollen concentrations. Air pollution might be one of the main factors affecting the distribution of pollen allergy patients within the city.
Recent years have seen a worsening of symptoms and increased sensitization to urban species such as plane-trees.

Key words: Aerobiology, antihistamine sales, distribution of patients, pollen allergy, seasonal symptoms, urban