Acute effects of winter air pollution on respiratory function in schoolchildren in southern England


Peacock, J.L., Symonds, P., Jackson, P., Bremner, S.A., Scarlett, J.F., Strachan, D.P. and Anderson, H.R. (2003) Acute effects of winter air pollution on respiratory function in schoolchildren in southern England. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 60, (2), 82-89. (doi:10.1136/oem.60.2.82).

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Original Publication URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oem.60.2.82

Description/Abstract

AIM: To investigate the acute health effects of winter outdoor air pollution (nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)), ozone (O(3)), sulphur dioxide (SO(2)), sulphate (SO(4)(2-)),and particles (PM(10))) on schoolchildren in an area of southern England where levels of SO(2) had been reported to be high.

METHODS: A total of 179 children, aged 7-13, from three schools (two urban and one rural location), were included. Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) and presence or absence of upper respiratory infections were recorded on 63 school days from 1 November 1996 to 14 February 1997. Air pollution and meteorological data were taken from monitors at each school site. The analysis regressed daily PEFR on pollutant level adjusting for confounders and serial correlation and calculated a weighted pooled estimate of effect overall for each pollutant. In addition, large decrements in PEFR were analysed as a binary outcome. Same day, lag 1, lag 2, and a five day average of pollutant levels were used.

RESULTS: There were no clear effects of any pollutant on mean PEFR. In addition, we analysed large PEFR decrements (a binary outcome), observing consistent negative associations with NO(2), SO(4)(2-), and PM(10), although few lag/pollutant combinations were significant: odds ratios (95% CI) for five day average effect: NO(2) 24 h average 1.043 (1.000 to 1.089), SO(4)(2-) 1.090 (0.898 to 1.322), PM(10) 1.037 (0.992 to 1.084). The observed effects of PM(10) (only) were stronger in wheezy children (1.114 (1.057 to 1.174)). There were no consistent negative associations between large decrements and ozone or SO(2).

CONCLUSIONS: There is no strong evidence for acute effects of winter outdoor air pollution on mean PEFR overall in this area, but there is evidence for negative effects on large PEFR decrements.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1076-2752 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: odds ratio, nitrogen, air pollution, seasons, forced expiratory volume, urban health, combination, analysis, air pollutants, methods, peak expiratory flow rate, humans, adolescent, sulfur dioxide, research support, ozone, physiology, physiopathology, respiration disorders, sulfates, aged, sulfate, public health, research, London, vital capacity, epidemiology, health, child, children, infection, female, etiology, adverse effects, respiratory sounds, rural health, England, nitrogen dioxide, male, sulfur
Subjects: R Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine
ePrint ID: 62055
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2008
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:44
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/62055

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