181649 Acute bronchitis in communities exposed to volcanic air pollution from Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, USA

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 1:05 PM

Bernadette M. Longo, PhD, RN , Orvis School of Nursing, University of Nevada-Reno, Reno, NV
Wei Yang, PhD , School of Public Health, University of Nevada Reno, Reno, NV
Twenty-five years of eruption at Kilauea Volcano continued to expose downwind Hawaiian populations to sulfurous air pollution. Emissions of sulfur dioxide gas, routinely measured by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, averaged 2,034 tons per day during 2004-2006. This study (Phase II of the Kilauea Volcano Health Study) estimated the incidence of diagnosed acute bronchitis in unexposed and exposed communities on the island over the 3-year period. Medical records from clinics and emergency rooms in the study areas were reviewed for visits of diagnosed acute bronchitis in local residents. Case records were reviewed for evidence of clinical presentation and diagnostic accuracy, resulting in a total of 683 visits for acute bronchitis in the study communities. The cumulative incidence rate was 117.74 per 1,000 in unexposed communities and 184.63 per 1,000 in exposed communities. Relative risk (RR) estimates were standardized for age and gender, revealing an elevated risk [RR = 1.57 (95% CI = 1.36 1.81)] for acute bronchitis in the exposed communities. Most affected were exposed children and middle-aged adults. Smoking was more common within the unexposed cases (27%) than the exposed cases (19%). This study has demonstrated that communities continuously exposed to relatively low levels of sulfurous volcanic air pollution have a higher risk of acute bronchitis.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the respiratory effects of exposure to sulfurous air pollution from active volcanoes. 2. Articulate the environmental health concerns for communities living near active volcanoes. 3. Utilize these epidemiological findings in the development of health promotion policy for the Island of Hawaii and other communities near active volcanoes.

Keywords: Air Quality, Community-Based Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Co-Investigator with Dr. Longo on the study. I assisted in analyzing and interpretating these data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.