The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4032.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 8:30 AM

Abstract #68077

Effects of environmental factors on the incidence of asthma

Ronald Low, MD1, Yu-Feng Chan, MD1, Leonard Bielory, MD2, Susan Meehan3, and Van Dunn, MD MPH4. (1) Division of Emergency Medicine/ Department of Surgery, UMDNJ New Jersey Medical School, 150 Bergen street, Room M219, Newark, NJ 07103, (973) 972-7882,, (2) Dept of Medicine /Asthma & Allergy Research Center, UMDNJ - New Jersey Medical School, 90 Bergen Street, Doctors Office Complex, DOC 4700, Newark, NJ 07103, (3) New York City Health and Hospital Corporation, 125 Worth Street, Room 507, New York, NY 10013, (4) New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, 125 Worth Street, Room 507, New York, NY 10013

We studied the effects of air pollutants, weather, and airborne allergens on ED visits for asthma (EDVA) in the 11 public hospitals run by the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation (HHC). We obtained airborne pollutant levels from the EPA, weather information from the National Weather Service, and allergen levels from the author░Žs laboratory. Incidence of EDVA was determined from HHC billing records. With the conservative one tailed ARIMA modeling, epiphenomena which vary reliably over the course of the year are less likely to be viewed as significant. Results: The study analyzed data from 01/01/1991 to 01/11/2002. The 5th, 50th, and 95th percentiles EDVA were 87, 172 and 298 respectively, with marked seasonal variations. We found a significant effect of pollen (p=0.0018). We predict 1,656 additional EDVA/year if the pollen count increased by 100 grains/day between March 1 and October 15th.. The model also found an effect of airborne pollution by particles smaller than 10 microns (PM10) (p=0.0029). We predict that, if PM10 increased by10 mcg/m3, then EDVA would increase by10,229 visits/year. Temperature effects were complex and dynamic (p<0.001). A rise in temperature over a two-week span was associated with a decrease in EDVA (p<0.0001). Given this dynamic relationship, it is difficult to estimate a yearly effect. Our model predicts that a constant 1-degree rise in temperature would result in 842 additional visits/year. Conclusion: We found significant adverse effects of air pollution by PM10 and pollen on EDVA. Temperature effects were statistically significant but complex.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Air Pollutants, Asthma

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Environmental Toxics - Exploring the Association Between Environmental Toxics and Health

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA