Background: No cohort studies exist on the effect of temperature and humidity on the number of visits to hospitals by patients with superficial fungal infections. Objective: The aim of our study was to investigate the relationship between climatological factors and superficial fungal infection-related hospital visits. Methods: This study was a retrospective cohort study based on the National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort (NHIS-NSC) database of patients with superficial fungal infection, from 2003 to 2012. We analyzed epidemiological characteristics and types of superficial fungal infection using descriptive statistics. We extracted climatological variables including temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, wind speed, possible duration of sunshine, and duration of sunshine from the Korea Meteorological Administration. Results: 116,903 patients presented with superficial fungal infections in the NHIS-NSC database. The most common type of superficial fungal infection-related hospital visits was tinea unguium (46.72%), followed by tinea pedis (28.38%), tinea corporis (9.19%), and tinea cruris (7.52%). Significant positive linear associations were found between mean daily superficial fungal infection-related hospital visits and daily average temperature (p < 0.001) and relative humidity (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The data from this study indicated that high temperature and high relative humidity may exacerbate superficial fungal infections.
- Superficial fungal infections