Next Article in Journal
The Effect of Nut Consumption on Diet Quality, Cardiometabolic and Gastrointestinal Health in Children: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
Next Article in Special Issue
Geographical Pattern of COVID-19-Related Outcomes over the Pandemic Period in France: A Nationwide Socio-Environmental Study
Previous Article in Journal
Protective and Risk Factors of Italian Healthcare Professionals during the COVID-19 Pandemic Outbreak: A Qualitative Study
Previous Article in Special Issue
Bad Air Can Also Kill: Residential Indoor Air Quality and Pollutant Exposure Risk during the COVID-19 Crisis
Article

The Effects of Air Pollution, Sea Exposure and Altitude on COVID-19 Hospitalization Rates in Italy

1
Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, University of Naples “Federico II”, 80125 Napoli, Italy
2
Department of Engineering, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, 81031 Aversa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020452
Received: 11 November 2020 / Revised: 4 January 2021 / Accepted: 5 January 2021 / Published: 8 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution & COVID-19 Outbreak)
Early known cases of COVID-19 emerged in late 2019 in the city of Wuhan (China) and in a relatively short time, it has reached more than 200 countries up to July 2020. In Italy, from 21 February 2020, (first official Italian positive case of COVID-19) until 27 July 2020, 246,286 confirmed cases were observed of which over 68,150 (28%) needed hospitalization and 35,112 died. In recent scientific research, it has been shown that the severity of symptoms and mortality rates were different not only among the various countries of the world but also in different regions of the same country. This research investigates whether and by how much air environmental conditions (such as exposure to fine particulate matter-PM2.5, sea air masses and altitude) influences the risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19 in Italy, once the spreading of the virus and the percentage of the elderly in the population have been accounted for. A log-linear multiple regression model was estimated where the log of the ratio of hospitalized patients per inhabitant, since the beginning of the epidemic up to July 27, has been considered as a dependent variable. Among the independent variables, the ones that have been taken into account are the spreading of the virus, the rate of people over 50 years of age, the concentration of PM2.5, the rate of population living by the sea, the rate of green public space for each resident and the ratio of population living at a high altitude. The results showed an increase in the hospitalization rate in terms of the percentage of people over 50 and the average concentration of PM2.5. If average limits of PM2.5 concentration allowed by the current European regulations (25 µg/m3) were respected in all Italian provinces, that would have led to 7339 less hospitalizations for COVID-19 (−11%). On the contrary, near the coast there were lower hospitalized cases in the referred period. In the hypothetical case that no Italians lived near the sea, about 1363 (+2%) more hospitalizations would have been recorded in the analysis period in addition to the effect of a lower PM concentration. This paper wanted to investigate which are the areas with a higher risk of hospitalization in Italy, so as to help the Italian Government to strengthen Health System measures, predicting the most suffering areas and health care systems. According to the results, this is directly related to the severity of symptoms which decreased with the long-time exposure to the sea. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; air pollution; PM2.5; human health; sea air exposure; regression model; high altitude COVID-19; air pollution; PM2.5; human health; sea air exposure; regression model; high altitude
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Cascetta, E.; Henke, I.; Di Francesco, L. The Effects of Air Pollution, Sea Exposure and Altitude on COVID-19 Hospitalization Rates in Italy. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 452. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020452

AMA Style

Cascetta E, Henke I, Di Francesco L. The Effects of Air Pollution, Sea Exposure and Altitude on COVID-19 Hospitalization Rates in Italy. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(2):452. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020452

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cascetta, Ennio, Ilaria Henke, and Luigi Di Francesco. 2021. "The Effects of Air Pollution, Sea Exposure and Altitude on COVID-19 Hospitalization Rates in Italy" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 2: 452. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020452

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop