May 3, 2017

Impacts of oak pollen on allergic asthma in the United States and potential influence of future climate change

Anenberg, Susan C., Weinberger, Kate R., Roman, Henry, Neumann, James E., Crimmins, Allison, Fann, Neal, Martinich, Jeremy, Kinney, Patrick L.
  • Develops a proof-of-concept approach for estimating asthma emergency department (ED) visits in the U.S. associated with present-day and climate-induced changes in oak pollen
  • States that oak pollen was associated with 21,200 (95% confidence interval, 10,000–35,200) asthma ED visits in the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest U.S. in 2010, with damages valued at $10.4 million
  • Finds that nearly 70% of these occurred among children age <18 years
  • Finds that severe climate change could increase oak pollen season length and associated asthma ED visits by 5% and 10% on average in 2050 and 2090, with a marginal net present value through 2090 of $10.4 million (additional to the baseline value of $346.2 million)
  • Results suggest that aeroallergens pose a substantial U.S. public health burden, that climate change could increase U.S. allergic disease incidence, and that mitigating climate change may have benefits from avoided pollen-related health impacts