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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 587; doi:10.3390/ijerph14060587

Short-Term Associations between Air Pollution Concentrations and Respiratory Health—Comparing Primary Health Care Visits, Hospital Admissions, and Emergency Department Visits in a Multi-Municipality Study

1
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
2
Center for Primary Health Care Research, Department of Clinical Science, Malmö, Lund University, SE-205 02 Malmö, Sweden
3
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sayed M. Hassan
Received: 22 March 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 27 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Pollution and Human Health Risk)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1213 KB, uploaded 31 May 2017]   |  

Abstract

Acute effects of air pollution on respiratory health have traditionally been investigated with data on inpatient admissions, emergency room visits, and mortality. In this study, we aim to describe the total acute effects of air pollution on health care use for respiratory symptoms (ICD10-J00-J99). This will be done by investigating primary health care (PHC) visits, inpatient admissions, and emergency room visits together in five municipalities in southern Sweden, using a case-crossover design. Between 2005 and 2010, there were 81,019 visits to primary health care, 38,217 emergency room visits, and 25,271 inpatient admissions for respiratory symptoms in the study area. There was a 1.85% increase (95% CI: 0.52 to 3.20) in the number of primary health care visits associated with a 10 µg/m3 increase in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels in Malmö, but not in the other municipalities. Air pollution levels were generally not associated with emergency room visits or inpatient admissions, with one exception (in Helsingborg there was a 2.52% increase in emergency room visits for respiratory symptoms associated with a 10 µg/m3 increase in PM10). In conclusion, the results give weak support for short-term effects of air pollution on health care use associated with respiratory health symptoms in the study area. View Full-Text
Keywords: air pollution; primary health care; respiratory health; hospital admissions and ER visits; case crossover air pollution; primary health care; respiratory health; hospital admissions and ER visits; case crossover
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Taj, T.; Malmqvist, E.; Stroh, E.; Oudin Åström, D.; Jakobsson, K.; Oudin, A. Short-Term Associations between Air Pollution Concentrations and Respiratory Health—Comparing Primary Health Care Visits, Hospital Admissions, and Emergency Department Visits in a Multi-Municipality Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 587.

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