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Inhal Toxicol. 2006 Mar;18(3):185-9.

Air pollution and postneonatal mortality in a tropical city: Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

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Department of Healthcare Administration, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung County, Taiwan.


With growing evidence of the association between daily mortality and air pollution in adults, it is important to investigate whether infants are also susceptible to the adverse health effects of ambient air pollutants. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between air pollution and postneonatal mortality in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, a large industrial city with a tropical climate, during the period 1994-2000, using a case-crossover analysis. Case-crossover analysis provides an alternative to Poisson time-series regression for studying the short-term adverse health effects of air pollution. The air pollutants examined included particulate matter (PM(10)), sulfur dioxide (SO(2)), ozone (O(3)), nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)), and carbon monoxide (CO). The risk of postneonatal deaths was estimated to increase by 4.0% per 67 microg/m(3) (the interquartile range in daily ambient concentration of PM(10)) for PM(10), 1.8% per 17.84 ppb for NO(2), 5.1% per 0.31 ppm for CO, and 4.6% per 19.20 ppb for O(3). Although positive, none of these associations achieved statistical significance. The established link between air pollution levels and infant mortality may not be as strong in cities with tropical climates, although other factors such as differences in pollutant mix or the underlying health of the postneonates may explain the lack of a strong association in this study. Further studies of this type in cities with varying climates and cultures are needed.

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