The patient’s hay-fever diary: three years of results from Germany
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- Karatzas, K., Voukantsis, D., Jaeger, S. et al. Aerobiologia (2014) 30: 1. doi:10.1007/s10453-013-9303-5
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The patient’s hay-fever diary (PHD) is a newly developed, internet-based tool for self-documentation of pollen-induced symptoms (eyes, nose and airways), general well-being and medication use. In Germany, more than 1,600 users made over 60,500 reports in 3 years (2009–2011). An analysis of these reports reveal that the nose symptom “sneezing” is the most commonly reported (3/10 of reports), followed by eye symptom “itching” and nose “blocked”. In addition, medication use follows a similar pattern every year, with tablets being the most commonly used medication type (up to 60 % of the reports made in the years 2009 and 2011). Temporal variations in overall symptoms and organ-specific symptom scores are found to be associated with atmospheric concentrations of birch and grass pollen. Data from the PHD can be analysed with the aid of various mathematical methods and may provide information about symptoms and their severity for pollen-allergic sufferers. They may also be valuable for clinical studies in immunotherapy with pollen extracts.