Association Between Asthma-Related Emergency Department Visits and Pollen Concentration in the Bronx, 2001-2008

Sayantani B. Sindher, MD, Sunit Jariwala, MD, Gabriele De Vos, MD, Jennifer Toh, Anna Tavdi, BA, David L. Rosenstreich, MD, FAAAAI



To examine the relationship between asthma-related emergency department visits (AREDV) and the effect of pollen and mold concentrations in a high asthma prevalence area, Bronx, NY.


The numbers of daily adult and pediatric AREDV from 2001-2008 were obtained from two Bronx hospitals (Montefiore-Moses and Montefiore-Weiler). AREDV data were acquired through the Clinical Looking Glass data analysis software, which allowed a retrospective search of asthma-related patients by ICD-9 code. Daily counts for tree, grass and weed pollen along with mold (fungal spore) from 3/2001 to 10/2008 were obtained from the Armonk counting station located in close proximity to the Bronx.


From 2001-2008, there were a total of 42,065 AREDV. In a prior analysis, a large spring increase in AREDV significantly correlated with high tree pollen counts. When the weed, grass and tree pollen data was combined, there was a significant positive correlation between AREDV and total pollen counts (rho=0.3, p<0.001). An average of a 50% increase in AREDV was found (from mean 10.4 +/- SD 6.1 to 15.8 +/- SD 8.1) if pollen counts exceeded 100 grains/mm3 (p<0.001).


Our data demonstrates a significant positive correlation between AREDV and total pollen counts in the Bronx. This may have prognostic value in anticipating increased asthma exacerbations. Early warning of pollen peaks based on ongoing surveillance could potentially guide clinical practice and minimize asthma-related emergency department visits in the Bronx.

abstract No: 

    • AAAAI 2013 (69th)