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Air pollution is considered a risk factor for asthma. In this paper, we analyze the association between daily hospital admissions for asthma and ambient air pollution concentrations in four New York City counties. Negative binomial regression is used to model the association between daily asthma hospital admissions and ambient air pollution concentrations. Potential confounding factors such as heat index, day of week, holidays, yearly population changes, and seasonal and long-term trends are controlled for in the models. Nitrogen dioxide NO2, sulfur dioxide SO2 and carbon monoxide CO show the most consistent statistically significant associations with daily hospitalizations for asthma during the entire period 1996-2000. The associations are stronger for children 0 - 17 years than for adults 18 - 64 years. Relative risks RR for the inter-quartile range IQR of same day 24-hour average pollutant concentration and asthma hospitalizations for children for the four county hospitalization totals were: NO2 IQR = 0.011 ppm, RR = 1.017, 95% CI = 1.001, 1.034, SO2 IQR = 0.008 ppm, RR = 1.023, 95% CI = 1.004, 1.042, CO IQR = 0.232 ppm, RR = 1.014, 95% CI = 1.003, 1.025. In the case of ozone O3 and particulate matter PM2.5 statistically significant associations were found for daily one-hour maxima values and children’s asthma hospitalization in models that used lagged values for air pollution concentrations. Five-day weighted average lag models resulted in these estimates: O3 one-hour maxima IQR = 0.025 ppm, RR = 1.049, 95% CI = 1.002, 1.098, PM2.5 one-hour maxima IQR = 16.679 μg-m3, RR = 1.055, 95% CI = 1.008, 1.103. In addition, seasonal variations were also explored for PM2.5 and statistically significant associations with daily hospital admissions for asthma were found during the colder months November-March of the year. Important differences in pollution effects were found across pollutants, counties, and age groups. The results for PM2.5 suggest that the composition of PM is important to this health outcome, since the major sources of NYC PM differ between winter and summer months.


Asthma; Air Pollution; Epidemiology; New York City; Nitrogen Dioxide; Sulfur Dioxide; Carbon Monoxide; Particulate Matter; Ozone

Cite this paper

C. Restrepo, J. Simonoff, G. Thurston and R. Zimmerman -Asthma Hospital Admissions and Ambient Air Pollutant Concentrations in New York City,- Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 3 No. 9A, 2012, pp. 1102-1116. doi: 10.4236-jep.2012.329129.

Autor: Carlos E. Restrepo, Jeffrey S. Simonoff, George D. Thurston, Rae Zimmerman



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