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Loftus, A, Loftus, BG, Muircheartaigh, I, Newell, J, Scarrott, C, Jennings, SG
Irish Medical Journal
Acute childhood asthma in Galway City from 1985-2005: Relationship to air pollution and climate
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We examine the relationship of air pollution and climatic variables to asthma admission rates of children in Galway city over a 21 year period. Paediatric asthma admissions were recorded from 1985-2005, and admission rates per thousand calculated for pre-school (1-4 years), school aged (5-14 years) and all children (1-14 years) on a monthly and annual basis. These data were compared to average monthly and annual climatic variables (rainfall, humidity, sunshine, wind speed and temperature) and black smoke levels for the city. Simple correlation and Poisson Generalized Additive Models (GAM) were used. Admission rates each month are significantly correlated with smoke levels (p=0.007). Poisson GAM also shows a relationship between admissions and pollution (p=0.07). Annual smoke levels impact more on admission rates of preschoolers (p=0.04) than school age children (p=0.10). These data suggest that air pollution is an important factor in the epidemiology of acute childhood asthma.
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