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Eur Respir J. 2015 Mar;45(3):652-60. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00078614. Epub 2014 Oct 16.

Non-anthropogenic dust exposure and asthma medication purchase in children.

Author information

1
Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel Clinical Research Center, Soroka University Medical Center, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
2
Clinical Research Center, Soroka University Medical Center, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
3
Dept of Geography and Environmental Development, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
4
Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel Dept of Pediatrics, Soroka University Medical Center, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
5
Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel novack@bgu.ac.il.

Abstract

Air pollution has been shown to increase frequency of asthma attacks, as usually measured by hospitalisation rates. We hypothesise that purchase of asthma reliever medications will reflect a broader association between the environmental exposure and asthma exacerbations. In a time series analysis, we estimated the association of dust storms with mild asthma manifestations, as indicated by medication purchases, during 2005-2011. We compared our results with the estimation of the association of dust storms with hospitalisations due to asthma and asthma-like symptoms. We detected 289 dust storms characterised by high levels of particulate matter <10 μm in diameter. We identified 42,920 children with asthma, wheezing or asthma-like symptoms, of whom 2418 were hospitalised. We observed a higher risk of asthma medication purchase on the day of a mild dust storm (relative risk 1.05, 95% CI 1.00-1.10). The next peak in drug purchases was 3 days later and was more pronounced among Bedouin-Arab children. Stratified analyses showed higher risks for hospitalisation among Bedouin-Arab children; especially among children living in temporary houses (relative risk 1.33, 95% CI 1.04-1.71). We observed an increased risk of asthma medication purchase associated with mild dust storms. The risk observed for hospitalisation was more pronounced among the rural Bedouin-Arab population.

PMID:
25323244
DOI:
10.1183/09031936.00078614
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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