Table 1. Thunderstorm asthma studies
CountryStudy yearEventComments
UK [3]198326 sudden cases of asthma attacksIncreased risk of asthma in relation to thunderstorms
Australia [14]1992Hospital attendances and admissions because of asthma exacerbationLate spring thunderstorms in Melbourne can trigger epidemics of asthma attacks (five to 10-fold rise) The seasonal nature of the phenomenon and the pattern of allergic responses found in affected patients suggests a possible aetiological role for rye grass pollen
UK [15]1997Asthma or other airways disease hospital visits640 cases who attended during a 30-h period from 18:00 h on June 24, 1994, nearly 10 times the expected number
Canada [16]1992–200018970 hospital ED asthma visits among children 2–15 yrs of ageSummer thunderstorm activity was associated with an OR of 1.35 (95% CI 1.02–1.77) relative to summer periods with no activity
USA [17]1993–2004215832 asthma ED visits; 24350 of these visits occurred on days following thunderstormsSignificant association between daily counts of asthma ED visits and thunderstorm occurrence
Asthma visits were 3% higher on days following thunderstorms
Australia [18]2000Asthma visits during thunderstormsHistory of hay fever and allergy to rye grass are strong predictors for asthma exacerbation during thunderstorms in spring
Australia [19]2001Hospital attendances for asthmaThe incidence of excess hospital attendances for asthma during late spring and summer was strongly linked to the occurrence of thunderstorm outflows
UK [20]2002A case–control study of 26 patients presenting to Cambridge University Hospital with asthma after the thunderstormAlternaria alternata sensitivity is a compelling predictor of epidemic asthma in patients with seasonal asthma and grass pollen allergy and is likely to be the important factor in thunderstorm-related asthma
Italy [21]2004ED asthmaSix cases of thunderstorm-related asthma because of pollen (Paretaria)
Italy [22]2010ED asthma20 cases of thunderstorm-related asthma because of pollen (olive tree)
Australia [23]2010Epidemics of “thunderstorm asthma” that occurred in Melbourne during spring 2010The approach of spring, together with high winter rainfall in and around Melbourne that heralds another severe pollen season, raises the risk of allergic rhinitis and asthma in pollen-sensitive individuals
  • ED: emergency department; OR: odds ratio.