The Sixteenth Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE): Abstracts
CAPSAICIN EXPOSURE AS A RISK FACTOR FOR ASTHMA-LIKE SYMPTOMS: GAZI· ANTEP RURAL AREA RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS SURVEY
Dörtbudak, Zeynep*; Filiz, Ayten†; Dikensoy, Öner†; Bayram, Nazan†; Neas, Lucas M.‡
*Koc Univ. School of Health Sciences; †Gaziantep University Medical School Department of Pulmonology; ‡U.S. EPA Epidemiology and Biomarkers Branch, Human Studies Div.
This study was supported by Gaziantep University Research Foundation and University of North Carolina, Center for Environmental Medicine and Lung Biology. Disclaimer: This publication does not reflect the views or policy of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Gaziantep Rural Area Respiratory Syptoms Survey was completed between November 2001–December 2002. The aims of this study were to assess the prevalence and risk factors of asthma, chronic bronchitis, atopy and upper respiratory symptoms in a randomized sample of rural villages with population of 200–400. The survey questionnaire was developed through an elaboration of existing standardized respiratory symptoms questionnaires (2) and a pilot study conducted in the region after increased numbers of patients were observed to be referred to the GU Medical School’s Department of Pulmonology with asthma-like symptoms following domestic processing of red pepper which are known to contain Capsaicin, a bronchoconstrictor (1). The current report consists of a questionnaire data and pulmonary function testing of a partial database (672 subjects from 46 villages).
Logistic regression analysis of questionnaire data on symptoms related to pepper processing and wheeze (WHEEZE) and asthma-like (AS-LIKE) symptoms consisting of at least three of wheeze without colds, night time apnea as well as chest tightness symptoms has revealed a statistically significant two-fold increase of these symptoms among study participants with eye irritation (EI) and respiratory problems (RP) that reportedly lasted more than three days after pepper processing. GI (OR 2.06. CI 1.45–2.91), RP (OR 2.00, CI 1.38–2.90). We attribute these findings to the possible role of Capsaicin in the mechanism of allergic sensitisation leading to asthma-like symptoms and find them noteworthy. Two additional studies are planned to investigate this mechanism among asthmatics that report to our clinic and among seasonal workers in the local pepper-processing factories in the region.Copyright © 2004 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.