Two Thirds of Forest Walkers with Japanese Cedar Pollinosis Visit Forests even During the Pollen Season

  • Morita Emi
    Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University Present address: Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine
  • Nagano Jun
    Institute of Health Science, Kyushu University
  • Yamamoto Hirokazu
    Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo
  • Murakawa Isao
    Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo
  • Aikawa Mieko
    Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo
  • Shirakawa Taro
    Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University Present address: UCG (Universal Clinic Group)

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  • 花粉症の森林散策愛好家の花粉症シーズンにおける森林散策行動について

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Abstract

Background: The most common type of pollinosis in Japan is Japanese cedar pollinosis (JCP). While forest walking is a common form of recreation for Japanese people, it has been unclear whether forest walkers with JCP still choose to visit forested areas during the pollen season or whether they avoid those areas, and as such, the aim of this study was to investigate this question.<br> Methods: The study participants were all healthy men and women volunteers aged 20 years or over who visited the Tokyo University Forest in Chiba during 4 different days. The survey was conducted using self-administered questionnaires.<br> Results: The number of available responses was 498. Of these, 112 participants who experienced JCP were included in the analysis. Seventy-three participants (65.2%) responded that they visit forests even during the pollen season. The association between forest walking choices during the pollen season and self-rated levels of pollinosis symptoms was not statistically significant (Cramer's V = 0.13, p = 0.47). As many as 60% of the participants who reported serious symptom levels responded that they visit forested areas even during the pollen season.<br> Conclusions: These results revealed that two thirds of forest walkers who had experienced JCP visited forests even during the pollen season. This indicates the further need for public service announcements informing people with JCP that the risk of pollen exposure and subsequent JCP reaction is increased by visiting forested areas during the pollen season.<br>

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