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Am J Emerg Med. 2010 Oct;28(8):928-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2009.06.019. Epub 2010 Mar 25.

Domicile-related carbon monoxide poisoning in cold months and its relation with climatic factors.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, 100730, China.



Many studies have identified strong correlations between winter months and acute, unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. In this study, we aimed to investigate the incidence pattern of acute domicile-related CO poisoning in Beijing and its relation with climatic factors.


Data on CO poisoning were collected from the emergency medical service system during August 1, 2005, to July 31, 2007, in Beijing. Variations of the monthly and seasonal distribution of CO poisoning occurrences were examined with χ(2) testing. Climatic data including temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, wind speed, and visibility were obtained from the Beijing Meteorological Bureau. Correlations between the occurrence of CO poisoning and mean of each meteorological parameter spanning 3 days were analyzed with partial correlation test, with related parameters controlled.


Significant differences were found among the cases occurring each month of the year (P < .001). The monthly caseload reached the peak and the nadir in January and in September, respectively. During the cold period, 3331 patients were recorded, accounting for 88.4% of the total cases of the 2-year study period. Among the 5 climatic parameters, only temperature had a significant inverse correlation with the occurrence of CO poisoning (P < .001, r = -0.467).


The incidences of CO poisoning were highest during winter, particularly during the time period when charcoal or coal use for indoor heating would be most prevalent in Beijing.

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