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Environ Health. 2011 Mar 10;10:15. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-10-15.

Effect of hourly concentration of particulate matter on peak expiratory flow in hospitalized children: a panel study.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Healthcare Research, Kyoto University School of Public Health, Yoshidakonoe-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan.



Little information is available on the possible association between hourly short-term air pollution and peak expiratory flow (PEF) in asthmatic children.


PEF was measured twice daily, from October through December, 2000, in 17 children aged 8 to 15 years hospitalized with severe asthma. A total of 1198 PEF measurements were made at 7 a.m. and 1175 at 7 p.m. Measurements were conducted immediately prior to medication under the guidance of trained nurses. PEF changes were estimated in 10-μg/m3 increments of particulate matter with a 50% cut-off aerodynamic diameter of ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5), with adjustment for sex, age, height, and temperature. Lagged-hour exposures of up to 24 hours were examined.


Increased 24-hour mean concentration of PM2.5 was associated with a decrease in both morning and evening PEF (-3.0 l/minute; 95%CI: -4.6, -1.4 and -4.4 l/minute; 95%CI: -7.1, -1.7, respectively). In addition, hourly concentrations of PM2.5 and PEF showed a significant association between some lags of PM2.5 and PEF. Effect size was almost -3 l/minute in both morning and evening PEF for an hourly PM2.5 concentration of 10 μg/m3 in several lags. Even after adjustment for other air pollutants, some of the significant associations with PEF remained.


Among hospitalized children with severe asthma, increased hourly concentration of PM2.5 was associated with a decrease in PEF.

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