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Thunderstorm associated asthma in Atlanta, Georgia
  1. A Grundstein1,
  2. S E Sarnat2,
  3. M Klein2,
  4. M Shepherd1,
  5. L Naeher3,
  6. T Mote1,
  7. P Tolbert2
  1. 1University of Georgia, Department of Geography, Climatology Research Laboratory, Athens, Georgia, USA
  2. 2Emory University, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  3. 3University of Georgia, Department of Environmental Health Science, Athens, Georgia, USA
  1. Dr A Grundstein, University of Georgia, Department of Geography, Climatology Research Laboratory, GG Building, Room #204, Athens, GA 30602, USA; andrewg{at}

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Associations between thunderstorm activity and asthma morbidity have been reported in numerous locations around the world.1 The most prominent hypotheses explaining the associations are that pollen grains rupture by osmotic shock in rainwater, releasing allergens, and that gusty winds from thunderstorm downdrafts spread particles and/or aeroallergens, which may ultimately increase the risk of asthma attacks. A full understanding of “thunderstorm asthma” is crucial, especially with projections of increases in heavy rainfall, thunderstorm events and aeroallergen concentrations as the climate system warms.2 ,3 Many existing studies of this phenomenon have been limited in power and scope.1 Our study seeks to conduct the most extensive investigation of thunderstorm occurrence and asthma morbidity to date in a region, the Southeast US, that has not previously been examined but where …

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  • Funding: This work was supported by grant No R01ES11294 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, STAR Research Assistance Agreement No R82921301-0 from the US Environmental Protection Agency and grant No EP-P4353/C2124 from the Electric Power Research Institute. Although the research described in this article has been funded in part by the NIEHS and USEPA, it has not been subjected to peer and policy review by these agencies and therefore does not necessarily reflect the views of the agencies.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: Ethics approval was obtained.