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Date of Graduation

8-2003

Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Jon Gietzen, PA-C

Abstract

Objective: Prevalence of allergic rhinitis ("hay fever"), seasonal allergies, and asthma has increased significantly in western society over the last two decades. The researcher noticed a large number of children in the rural area of Clallam Bay, Washington, with diagnoses related to allergies or asthma. This study looks for the incidence, risk factors, allergen exposure, and a relationship between asthma and allergic rhinitis/seasonal allergies in the pediatric population of Clallam Bay.

Methods: A retrospective chart review of all patients born in 1988 or later at the Clallam Bay Medical Clinic, looking for diagnoses of allergic rhinitis/allergies and/or asthma. A data collection sheet was utilized to collect the information.

Results: The total number of patients in this study was 181 . The incidence of allergic rhinitis/asthma was found to be 28.7% (n=52). The percentage of subjects with diagnoses of seasonal allergies/allergic rhinitis and asthma was 22.6% (41) and 8.8% (16), respectively. The mean age of those who fit the inclusion criteria was 8.17 years, and the mean age of those who had an inclusive diagnosis was 7.9 years. The percentage of the population that was female was 51 % (93) and 49% (88) was male. The mean number of times a patient was diagnosed with asthma or allergic rhinitis/seasonal allergies was 1.46. No consistent risk factors were determined due to insufficient data. Of those who demonstrated an inclusive diagnosis, 9.6% (5) had both a diagnosis of seasonal allergies or allergic rhinitis and asthma.

Conclusion: According to this study the incidence of allergic rhinitis/seasonal allergies and asthma in Clallam Bay is higher than the national averages. This study and literature cannot offer a definite etiology or cause, though current research suggests the rise in asthma and seasonal allergies may be due to a more prominent role of indoor allergens. Certainly, though, the density of allergenic plant life and trees in this region cannot be overlooked. This study demonstrates the difficulty in determining the extent to which asthma and allergy are related to the common allergens versus genetic predisposition.

Comments

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