METHODS: After signing informed consent, ten adult asthmatics with allergic rhinitis were assessed before and 45 and 90 minutes into a ride in a 2017 Mercedes Benz S-Class sedan and GLE-Class SUV on two separate days. Assessments included spirometry, fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), peak nasal inspiratory flow (PNIF), asthma symptom scores, and physical examinations.
RESULTS: Of the 10 subjects, 6 were female, mean age was 32, and 6 and 4 were using chronic asthma controllers or intranasal corticosteroids, respectively. None of the subjects had worsening of asthma or rhinitis symptoms during the rides. There were no statistically significant changes from baseline in FEV1, FEV1/FVC, FEF 25-75, FeNO, or PNIF at 45 or 90 minutes into the rides with either Mercedes vehicle (all p-values > 0.1 using generalized linear mixed model). No changes were noted on physical examination and no adverse events were reported.
CONCLUSIONS: The interior environment of the tested Mercedes vehicles did not cause changes in subjective or objective measures of asthma and allergic rhinitis. We suggest that this model can be used to determine whether other new vehicle types provide safe environments for patients with asthma and allergic rhinitis.