232141 Ambient air pollution and respiratory diseases in children in Jefferson Country, Alabama

Monday, November 8, 2010

Meghan Tipre, BDS, MSPH , University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL
Nalini Sathiakumar, MD, DrPH , Sparkman Center for Global Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Sreelatha Meleth, PhD , School of Enginnering, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Jason Kirby, PhD , School of Enginnering, University of Alabama at Birmigham, Birmingham, AL
Mark Leader, MA , School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Environmental air pollution is an important contributor to the global burden of respiratory disease among children and adolescents affecting their developing respiratory systems. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of ambient air pollution on respiratory health in children; however, their results are inconsistent. The aim of this study was to examine the association between fine particulate matter of size 2.5 (PM2.5) and ozone (O3) and respiratory diseases in children in a local setting, in Jefferson County, Alabama, from 1999-2002.

Exposure was estimated using weighted concentrations for PM2.5 and O3. Daily counts of hospital admissions for all upper and lower respiratory diseases in children < 18 years of age were obtained from three hospitals in Jefferson County. A generalized additive model (GAM) was used to analyze the data, adjusting for confounders including seasonal variations, temperature, relative humidity and day of the week.

In two-pollutant model, an increase in PM2.5 equivalent to the observed interquartile range (IQR) resulted in an 8% increase in admissions for respiratory diseases (IQR =11.44 g/m3, RR=1.08, p= 0.003). O3 was inversely associated with respiratory diseases (p < 0.001). No associations were observed using 1 and 2 days lag periods for PM2.5 and O3.

In conclusion, the results of the study contribute to the evidence of an association between PM2.5 and respiratory diseases in children. Jefferson County currently does not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM2.5, and results of this study will be useful to guide the development of more stringent local regulations for PM.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Explain the effect of ambient fine particulate matter and ozone on respiratory health in children residing in Jefferson County, Alabama. Demonstrate use of generalized additive modeling techniques in the analysis of time series data. Demonstrate research translate into practical application.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Delta Omega student nominee
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.