An overview of thunderstorm-associated asthma outbreak in southwest of Iran

J Environ Public Health. 2014;2014:504017. doi: 10.1155/2014/504017. Epub 2014 Jun 29.


The aim of this study was to report the characteristics and treatment strategies of all patients with acute bronchospasm who were presented to the emergency departments of Ahvaz, Iran, following the occurrence of a thunderstorm on November 2, 2013. A total of 2000 patients presenting with asthma attacks triggered by thunderstorm were interviewed and an initial questionnaire was completed for each individual. After twenty days, patients were asked to complete a supplementary questionnaire, but only 800 of them accepted to do so. The majority of subjects was aged 20-40 years (60.5%) and had no history of asthma in most cases (60.0%). The symptoms had started outdoors for 60.0% of the participants. In most patients, the onset of the condition was on November 2. Short-acting β 2-agonist (salbutamol) and aminophylline were the most commonly prescribed medications in the emergency department. Upon the second interview, 85.3% of the patients were still symptomatic. Overall, 63.6% did not have a follow-up visit after hospital discharge, although all of them were referred to the specialist. The findings of the present study suggest that thunderstorm-associated asthma could affect young adults with no gender priority, with or without asthma history, which put a strain on emergency medical services.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Cities / epidemiology
  • Disease Outbreaks* / statistics & numerical data
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Weather*
  • Young Adult