John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé

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A clinical index to assess the health effects of pollen Volume 7, issue 6, novembre-décembre 2008

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Réseau national de surveillance aérobiologique (RNSA) Chemin des Gardes 69610 Saint-Genis-l’Argentière France
  • Key words: health, indexes, pollen, rhinitis, risk
  • DOI : 10.1684/ers.2008.0180
  • Page(s) : 411-6
  • Published in: 2008

Every week, the Réseau national de surveillance aérobiologique (RNSA, that is, the French aerobiology network) produces information to help predict the allergic risk due to pollen exposure for the following week. This information is based on clinical data from a network of clinicians (specialists and non-specialists) organized by RNSA throughout France. These data, transmitted electronically, make it possible to follow the course and intensity of patients’ allergic signs and symptoms. By assigning coefficients to each symptom, we can establish a clinical index for each area for different time scales (week, month or year). Trends in the clinical index according to town show the links between the levels of these biological particles and symptoms. For instance, comparison of the clinical index in 2006 and 2007 shows simultaneous differences for both quantitative (pollen concentrations) and temporal (when different allergens appeared and disappeared) fields and demonstrates that 2007 was less trying for allergic people than 2006. The clinical index, essential for reporting the allergenic situation, is now calculated according to proven procedures. It allows regular monitoring of trends in the health effects of pollen exposure. In years to come its value will increase with the length of follow-up.