The Seasonality of Appendicitis in Relationship to Pollen Counts in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area

Long, Sara
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Seven percent of individuals will experience appendicitis in their lifetime, however little is known about the cause of the illness. In recent years it has been observed that appendicitis exhibits a seasonal trend but there is uncertainty in regards to the intensity of such trend. Researchers have attempted to link the seasonality of appendicitis to various factors that exhibit a similar pattern in order to elucidate its cause but with little success. This thesis explores the seasonal trend and potential relationship between the number of appendicitis cases and pollen concentrations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Using statistical methods, such at the Kendall tau-b correlation coefficient, it was found that the number of appendicitis cases is not correlated to pollen concentrations. In addition, the results were found to be inconclusive as to the seasonality of appendicitis.