Effects of Asian Dust Storm on Health-related Quality of Life: A Survey Immediately after an Asian Dust Storm Event in Mongolia
Purpose: In spring, Asian dust storm events occur frequently in the deserts of Mongolia and northwestern China. Epidemiological studies have shown that particulate matter during a dust event can cause the deterioration of subjective symptoms concerning the eye and the respiratory. The objective of this study was to assess the possible effects of dust events on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in the general population. Methods: A survey of the HRQoL and subjective symptoms related to eye and respiratory systems was carried out for inhabitants in Mongolia after a dust storm event. HRQoL was assessed based on the SF-36. The study participant were 87 nomads. Results: The scores of SF-36 subscales for group with symptoms were significantly lower than group without symptoms. In the results of the multiple regression analysis, the scores of SF-36 subscales were significantly related to the subjective symptoms. Conclusion: This result suggested that a decreased HRQoL of people with symptoms, corroborated by subjective symptoms, may be the result of damage from a dust storm event. Measurement of HRQoL in the general population may thus be an index of the effect from the dust storm.
Keywords: Asian Dust storm; HRQoL; Subjective symptom; SF-36