Journal article

Crowd-sourced allergic rhinitis symptom data: The influence of environmental and demographic factors

Jeremy D Silver, Kymble Spriggs, Simon Haberle, Constance H Katelaris, Edward J Newbigin, Edwin R Lampugnani



Allergic Rhinitis (AR) affects over half a billion people worldwide with an estimated prevalence of 1 in 5 individuals in developed countries. Although ambient pollen exposure is a causal factor in AR, the symptom-exposure relationship is typically not studied in the broader community but in small, well-characterised cohorts drawn from clinical populations. To identify relationships between AR symptoms in the community and a range of environmental factors, we used a database containing over 96,000 symptom score reports collected over a 3-year period (2014-2016) through freely available smartphone apps released in two Australian cities, Melbourne and Canberra. Ambient pollen levels and sympto..

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Awarded by NHMRC

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution to this paper made by users of the Melbourne and Canberra Pollen Count apps. Air quality data was provided by the Victorian Environment Protection Authority and we thank Michael Stringer and Jason Choi for their help with obtaining it. Weather data was provided by the Bureau of Meteorology and we thank Tony Bannister for his help with obtaining it. Technical support for app development and data storage was provided by the University of Melbourne, especially Usha Nattala, Uli Felzmann, Joshua Lilly, Chris Stroud, Robert Sturrock and Baybars Tetik. Funding for the Melbourne Pollen Monitoring Program and for analysis was provided by the University of Melbourne. Funding for the Canberra Pollen Monitoring Program was provided by the Australian National University and ACT Health. We thank Pamela Burton (Campbelltown Hospital and Western Sydney University) for her assistance with obtaining ethics approval and colleagues in the AusPollen network (NHMRC grant GNT1116107) for ongoing discussions.