Evaluation of risks associated with grass pollen induced thunderstorm asthma in Queensland: STAR-Q

Global and local estimates of asthma and wheeze indicate the Australian population suffer a large morbidity. In Australia’s north east state of Queensland (QLD), the annual prevalence of asthma is estimated at 12%. Sudden acute episodes of asthma exacerbation are often treated by hospital emergency departments (ED) in QLD and captured in the Emergency Department Information Systems (EDIS) & Cerner’s emergency information system (FirstNet). Epidemic asthma events have previously been reported in Australia’s states of New South Wales and Victoria, which have been associated with airborne grass pollen. However, the risk of epidemic asthma remains unknown in Queensland. It is hypothesised that climate affects distribution of acute asthma. The objective of this study was to generate detailed new knowledge of seasonality, trends and spatiotemporal patterns of asthma ED presentations across QLD and then determine if there is an association between airborne grass pollen and asthma ED presentations or hospital admissions in QLD.
Project Duration: 2018-2021

Funding / Grants

  • Australian Government Research Training Program Stipend (2018 - 2021)

Chief Investigators

Other Team Members

  • Dr Justin Boyle, Research of the  Australian E-Health Research Centre, CSIRO
  • Professor Bircan Erbas, La Trobe University, Melbourne