In "Age-specific Associations of Ozone and PM2.5 with Respiratory Emergency Department Visits in the U.S.," Heather M. Strosnider, PhD, MPH, and colleagues report on the associations between ground-level ozone and fine particulate pollution and ER visits for asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and respiratory infections.
"Previous studies of ER visits related to respiratory illness have shown that children are particularly susceptible to air pollution, but those studies were mostly confined to a single city," said Dr. Strosnider, lead health scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program (Tracking Program). The researchers leveraged the data available through the Tracking Program to look at the association between air pollution and respiratory ER visits across hundreds of U.S. counties.
Ozone - Ingredient - Smog - Particulate - Pollution
Ozone, the main ingredient of smog, and fine particulate pollution, microscopic particles that penetrate deep into the lung, are two important forms of air pollution in the U.S. The study looked at the levels of these two pollutants in 869 counties in the week prior to an ER visit for a breathing problem. The study included nearly 40 million ER visits for breathing problems from the counties, which represent 45 percent of the U.S. population.
The researchers divided patients into three groups: children under the age of 19, adults under the age of 65 and adults over the age of 65. The study found:
Association - Ozone - Respiratory - ER - Age
An association between ozone and respiratory ER visits among all age groups, with the strongest association in adults under age 65. Per 20 parts per billion (ppb) increase in ozone, the rate of an ER visit for respiratory...
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