Methods: We reviewed retrospectively the clinical data of subjects who underwent skin prick tests to aeroallergens, induced sputum analysis, and methacholine bronchial provocation test between February 2011 and August 2014 to evaluate their respiratory symptoms. Age was categorized as group I (15-64 yr) and group II (≥ 65 yr)
Results: A total of 863 subjects were analyzed (mean age: 48.4±15.1, female 63.5%). AHR was demonstrated in 10.5%; sputum eosinophilia, in 12.4%; and sensitization to at least one aeroallergen in skin tests, in 30.6%. Their diagnoses were asthma (31.1%), allergic rhinitis (37.1%), non-allergic rhinitis (7.0%), chronic rhinosinusitis (18.9%), eosinophilic bronchitis (7.5%), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (1.2%). The most commonly sensitized allergen was house dust mite (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus 16.5%, Dermatophagoides farina 15.5%), followed by early blossoming tree pollen mix (8.9%) and late blossoming tree pollen mix (7.9%). AHR was associated with sensitization to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (P=0.013), Dermatophagoides farina (P=0.036), early blossoming tree pollen mix (P=0.003), and late blossoming tree pollen mix (P=0.002), after adjusting age, gender, daily particulate matter levels and meteorological factors. However, in subgroup analysis according to age, group II didn’t show any association between AHR and aeroallergen. There was no association between airway eosinophilic inflammation and sensitization to any aeroallergen.
Conclusion: In Busan, sensitization to house dust mite and tree pollens is common, it significantly affects airway hyperreponsiveness.