Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 36, pp 36158–36162 | Cite as

Thunderstorm asthma outbreak, a rare phenomenon in southwest Iran: patients’ perspectives

  • Shohreh Rabiee
  • Hassan Mousavi
  • Morteza Abdullatif KhafaieEmail author
Research Article


Previous studies that described thunderstorm asthma, which is a rare event, are not being well explained. This study was conducted, to describe the patient perspective on their asthma attack experience during Ahvaz post-rain phenomenon. We have interviewed patients present in the Naft clinic of Ahvaz, during 28th October and the first week of November 2015. Recruitment was continued as saturation ensued by 33 participants. An inductive content analysis was used to evaluate the interviews. The key finding indicated a climatic condition, direct or indirect contact with rain, history of allergy, and physical conditions are the main categories. The patient emphasized the importance of dust, humidity, first autumn rainfall, and environmental air pollution in occurrences of the event. When exposed to further rains (third rainfall onward), they were less likely to experience dyspnea or shortness of breath. However, being indoor or out at the time of rainfall reported not to be related to the onset of asthma exacerbation. This study yielded that patients’ asthma outbreak is a climate-related health impact and many individual factors triggering this issue. Patients concerns need future investigation and public health emergency planning and response arrangements.


Thunderstorm asthma Outbreak Ahvaz Rainfall Qualitative study 



We acknowledge the contributions of patients in sharing their experiences.

Author contributions

S.R. and M.A.K. researched, wrote, discussed, and edited the manuscript. H.M. contributed to the discussion and edited the manuscript.


The study was approved and supported by a grant from Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences (IR.AJUMS.REC.1395.80; SDH-9502; Behsan ID 95353).

Compliance with ethical standards

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Coronary Care Unit of Naft HospitalNational Oil CompanyAhvazIran
  2. 2.Deputy of Health and Occupation Medicine, National Oil CompanyAhvazIran
  3. 3.Social Determinants of Health Research CenterAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  4. 4.Department of Public Health, Faculty of HealthAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  5. 5.Deputy of Research and DevelopmentAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran

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