Masanari Watanabe 1 , Hisashi Noma 2 , Jun Kurai 1 , Hiroyuki Sano 3 , Yasuto Ueda 1 , Masaaki Mikami 4 , Hiroyuki Yamamoto 5 , Hirokazu Tokuyasu 6 , Kazuhiro Kato 7 , Tatsuya Konishi 8 , Toshiyuki Tatsukawa 8 , Eiji Shimizu 1 , Hiroya Kitano 9
28 January 2016
Asian dust (AD) exposure exacerbates pulmonary dysfunction in patients with asthma. Asthma–chronic obstructive pulmonary disease overlap syndrome (ACOS), characterized by coexisting symptoms of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is considered a separate disease entity. Previously, we investigated the effects of AD on pulmonary function in adult patients with asthma. Here, we present the findings of our further research on the differences in the effects of AD exposure on pulmonary function between patients with asthma alone and those with ACOS.
Between March and May 2012, we conducted a panel study wherein we monitored daily peak expiratory flow (PEF) values in 231 adult patients with asthma. These patients were divided into 190 patients with asthma alone and 41 patients with ACOS in this study. Daily AD particle levels were measured using light detection and ranging systems. Two heavy AD days (April 23 and 24) were determined according to the Japan Meteorological Agency definition. A linear mixed model was used to estimate the association between PEF and AD exposure.
Increments in the interquartile range of AD particles (0.018 km −1) led to PEF changes of −0.50 L/min (95% confidence interval, −0.98 to −0.02) in patients with asthma alone and −0.11 L/min (−0.11 to 0.85) in patients with ACOS. The PEF changes after exposure to heavy AD were −2.21 L/min (−4.28 to −0.15) in patients with asthma alone and −2.76 L/min (−6.86 to 1.35) in patients with ACOS. In patients with asthma alone, the highest decrease in PEF values was observed on the heavy AD day, with a subsequent gradual increase over time.