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J Epidemiol. 1999 Feb;9(1):27-31.

Asthma-like disease in the children living in the neighborhood of Mt. Sakurajima.

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Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University, Japan.


We conducted self-administered questionnaire surveys of school children living in the vicinity of Mt. Sakurajima using ATS-DLD questionnaire. In this paper, we report the results of analysis comparing the proportion of children with asthma-like disease in the area exposed to the volcanic ash and gases released by Mt. Sakurajima and control areas. Asthma-like disease was ascertained using ATS-DLD questionnaire and the definition proposed by the study group established by Environmental Protection Agency in Japan. The proportion of children with asthma-like disease was not different between the exposed and control groups. The odds ratio of asthma-like disease comparing the exposed and control groups was 1.1 and its 95% confidence interval was 0.7-1.8 (P = 0.583). When the exposed area was divided into Tarumizu city. Sakurajima town and Kagoshima city, none of them showed an elevated proportion of children with asthma-like disease when compared with the control area. In the entire study population including both the exposed and control groups, the proportion of children with asthma-like disease was 6 and 3% in boys and girls, respectively. These values were quite similar to those obtained from a survey of 45,674 school children in western districts in Japan in 1992. In conclusion, the present study indicates that the proportion of children with asthma-like disease is not elevated in the exposed area. Further investigations are necessary to confirm our conclusions.

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