Regional differences in the prevalence of allergic rhinitis: Analysis of the commuting pattern of high school students in the Iwakuni region, western Japan

Akio Muranaka, Tomoki Nakaya, Tatsuo Yoshioka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examined the regional differences in the prevalence of allergic rhinitis among high school students. Several epidemiologic studies based on otologic examinations have so far shown that there are significant regional differences in the prevalence rates of allergic rhinitis, particularly between urban and rural areas of residence. Those studies suggested that the prevalence rates are influenced by external factors such as the living environment as well as internal factors such as previous illness and individual constitution. It is, however, necessary to introduce other new perspectives to the geographic study for analyzing the differences in prevalence rates, while considering present lifestyles with recent advances in transportation. Thus, we especially focus on residential and school sites in association with the medical records of high school students and living environments. The data for this study were collected through a physical nasal examination and a questionnaire survey of students in the Iwakuni region, west of Hiroshima, Japan. The results of binomial logistic regression modelling show that, as well as previous asthma and smoking habits among respondents' familymembers, the commuting patterns of students significantly influence the prevalence of allergic rhinitis. Students commuting to urban areas are at higher risk of having allergic rhinitis, although there are no regional differences in the prevalence of allergic rhinitis on the basis of residence. The polluted environment in urban areas during the daytime increases the prevalence of rhintis among high school students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-98
Number of pages12
JournalGeographical Review of Japan
Volume80
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Feb
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Asthma
  • Commuting pattern
  • High school students
  • Iwakuni region
  • Passive smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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