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Arch Environ Health. 1981 Mar-Apr;36(2):66-74.

The incidence and severity of acute respiratory illness in families exposed to different levels of air pollution, New York metropolitan area, 1971-1972.


The incidence and severity of acute respiratory disease was studied in families in three New York communities with different ambient levels of SO2 and particulate air pollution. Upper, lower, and total respiratory disease rates in fathers, mothers, and school children tended to be higher in the communities with higher pollution levels. Similar higher rates, however, were not observed among preschool children. Regression analyses were used to adjust rates for socioeconomic status, parental smoking, chronic bronchitis in parents, and possible indoor pollution resulting from the use of a gas stove for cooking. After these adjustments the community differences were still significant (P less than .01), for schoolchildren. The indoor pollution related to gas stoves was a significant covariate among children. The effects of smoking were inconsistent. It was not possible to attribute the higher rates observed to any specific pollutant, since both SO2 and particulate matter levels were higher in the high pollution communities, nor was it possible to attribute the excesses to current levels of exposure or to a residual effect of previous higher exposure concentrations. The fact that young children did not follow the pattern suggests the latter. It was concluded, however, that current or previous exposures to the complexity of air pollutants in New York City was at least partially responsible for increased incidences of acute respiratory disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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