International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Wildfires have increased in frequency and magnitude and pose a significant public health challenge. The principal objective of this study was to assess the impact of wildfire smoke on respiratory peak flow performance of patients exposed to two different wildfire events. This longitudinal study utilized an observational approach and a cohort study design with a patient-level clinical dataset from a local outpatient allergy clinic (n = 842). Meteorological data from a local weather station served as a proxy for smoke exposure because air quality measurements were not available. This study found that there were decreases in respiratory peak flow among allergy clinic patients one year after each wildfire event. For every one percent increase in wind blowing from the fire towards the community, there was, on average, a 2.21 L per minute decrease in respiratory peak flow. This study observed an effect on respiratory peak flow performance among patients at a local allergy clinic one year after suspected exposure to wildfire smoke. There are likely multiple reasons for the observation of this relationship, including the possibility that wildfire smoke may enhance allergic sensitization to other allergens or that wildfire smoke itself may elicit a delayed immune response.
Original Publication Citation
Blando, J., Allen, M., Galadima, H., Tolson, T., Akpinar-Elci, M., & Szklo-Coxe, M. (2022). Observations of delayed changes in respiratory function among allergy clinic patients exposed to wildfire smoke. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(3), 1-10, Article 1214. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031241
0000-0001-5619-499X (Blando), 0000-0002-8897-3901 (Allen), 0000-0003-1588-3929 (Galadima), 0000-0001-8094-261X (Akpinar-Elci)
Blando, James; Allen, Michael; Galadima, Hadiza; Tolson, Timothy; Akpinar-Elci, Muge; and Szklo-Coxe, Mariana, "Observations of Delayed Changes in Respiratory Function Among Allergy Clinic Patients Exposed to Wildfire Smoke" (2022). Community & Environmental Health Faculty Publications. 125.