, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 231–238 | Cite as

Short-term effects of pollen species on hospital admissions in the city of Madrid in terms of specific causes and age

  • Julio DíazEmail author
  • Cristina Linares
  • Aurelio Tobías
Original Paper


Background In recent years there has been a notable increase in respiratory diseases in industrialised countries, which is attributed to a combination of chemical atmospheric pollution and the allergens existing in the atmosphere of big cities. Few studies, however, have analysed the effect of different pollen species on the different causes of hospital admissions other than those exclusively owing to asthma. Objective The aim of this investigation was to analyse the influence of the most abundant pollen species with the highest allergenic potential in Madrid’s atmosphere on daily emergency hospital admissions – from all causes and specific causes – according to different age groups. Methods An ecological time-series design was adopted in which the effects were quantified using Poisson regression models, taking into account different confusion factors, such as chemical and acoustic atmospheric pollution. Results Statistically significant associations were found between pollen species and hospital admissions due to respiratory causes, and between pollen species and all causes of hospital admissions and, to a lesser degree, circulatory causes. The impact was greater in the younger age groups. Concentrations of Poaceae and Platanus pollen species were the factors showing the highest correlation to the different causes of admission. Conclusion The relative risks analysis revealed a significant effect between the pollen species analysed and health for admitted patients of all age groups; this effect was greater than that detected for the environmental variables traditionally analysed in urban atmospheres.


Cupressaceae Hospital admissions Olea Platanus Poaceae Pollen Time-series 



Simple autocorrelation function


Attributable risk


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


International Classification of Diseases version 9


Partial autocorrelation function


Relative risk



The authors gratefully acknowledge the Madrid Regional Health Authority Palynology Network (PALINOCAM) for providing the pollen data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julio Díaz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cristina Linares
    • 1
  • Aurelio Tobías
    • 2
  1. 1.Asesor/a de la FUAM para el Dpto. de Educación para el Desarrollo Sostenible delAyuntamiento de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Escuela Nacional de SanidadMadridSpain

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