J Korean Med Sci.  2008 Feb;23(1):66-71. 10.3346/jkms.2008.23.1.66.

Acute Effects of Asian Dust Events on Respiratory Symptoms and Peak Expiratory Flow in Children with Mild Asthma

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Korea University Anam Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Dongguk University International Hospital, Goyang, Korea.
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea. kohyy@plaza.snu.ac.kr


The aim of this study was to investigate the possible adverse effects of Asian dust events on respiratory health in asthmatic children. Fifty-two children with mild asthma were studied for eight consecutive weeks in the spring of 2004 (March 8 to May 2). During the study period, five Asian dust days were identified; we included a lag period of two days following each of the events. Subjects recorded their respiratory symptom diaries and peak expiratory flow (PEF) twice daily during the study period; and they underwent methacholine bronchial challenge tests. The subjects reported a significantly higher frequency of respiratory symptoms during the Asian dust days than during the control days. They showed significantly more reduced morning and evening PEF values, and more increased PEF variability (10.1%+/-3.5% vs. 5.5%+/-2.2%) during the Asian dust days than during the control days. Methacholine PC20 was not significantly different between before and after the study period (geometric mean: 2.82 mg/mL vs. 3.16 mg/mL). These results suggest that the short-term Asian dust events might be associated with increased acute respiratory symptoms and changes in PEF outcomes. However, there might be little long-term influence on airway hyperresponsiveness in children with mild asthma.


Asian Dust Events; Asthma; Peak Expiratory Flow Rate

MeSH Terms

Bronchial Hyperreactivity/physiopathology
Methacholine Chloride/diagnostic use
*Peak Expiratory Flow Rate
Respiration Disorders/*etiology/physiopathology


  • Fig. 1 Daily average of PM10 concentration (-•-, µg/m3) and peak expiratory flow (PEF) variability (▨) in Seoul, Korea in the spring of 2004.

  • Fig. 2 Methacholine PC20 values of the asthmatic children before and after the study period. Horizontal bars represent the geometric mean and its range of 1SD.

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Toxicity and health effects of Asian dust: a literature review
Ho-Jang Kwon
J Korean Med Assoc. 2012;55(3):234-242.    doi: 10.5124/jkma.2012.55.3.234.

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Allergy Asthma Respir Dis. 2016;4(4):248-256.    doi: 10.4168/aard.2016.4.4.248.


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