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Environ Res. 2014 Aug;133:156-63. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2014.05.022. Epub 2014 Jun 18.

Asthma, respiratory symptoms and lung function in children living near a petrochemical site.

Author information

1
Observatory of Health and Environment, Catalonia Public Health Agency, Health Department, Generalitat de Catalunya, Av. Maria Cristina, 54, Tarragona 43002, Spain; Institut d׳Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili, Av. de la Universitat, 1, Reus 43204, Spain. Electronic address: enric.rovira@gencat.cat.
2
Observatory of Health and Environment, Catalonia Public Health Agency, Health Department, Generalitat de Catalunya, Av. Maria Cristina, 54, Tarragona 43002, Spain; Institut d׳Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili, Av. de la Universitat, 1, Reus 43204, Spain. Electronic address: annam.cuadras@gencat.cat.
3
Pneumology Service, Tarragona University Hospital Joan XXIII, Institut Català de la Salut, c/Doctor Mallafré Guasch, 4, Tarragona 43005, Spain. Electronic address: xaguilar.hj23.ics@gencat.cat.
4
Pneumology Service, Tarragona University Hospital Joan XXIII, Institut Català de la Salut, c/Doctor Mallafré Guasch, 4, Tarragona 43005, Spain. Electronic address: lesteban.hj23.ics@gencat.cat.
5
Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), c/Doctor Aiguader, 88, Barcelona 08003, Spain; Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Plaça de la Mercè, 10-12, Barcelona 08002, Spain; CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain. Electronic address: aborras@creal.cat.
6
Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), c/Doctor Aiguader, 88, Barcelona 08003, Spain; Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Plaça de la Mercè, 10-12, Barcelona 08002, Spain; CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain; Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL), P.O. Box 1568, Utrecht 3500 BN, the Netherlands. Electronic address: jpzock@creal.cat.
7
Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), c/Doctor Aiguader, 88, Barcelona 08003, Spain; Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Plaça de la Mercè, 10-12, Barcelona 08002, Spain; CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain; IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute), Passeig Marítim, 25-29, Barcelona 08003, Spain. Electronic address: jsunyer@creal.cat.

Abstract

Residential proximity to environmental hazards has been related to adverse health outcomes. Respiratory health and allergies in children living near petrochemical sites have not been extensively studied. We evaluated the association between residential proximity to the petrochemical site of Tarragona (Catalonia, Spain) and the prevalence of asthma, respiratory symptoms and lung function in children. Children aged 6-7 (n=2672) and adolescents aged 13-14 (n=2524) residing near two large petrochemical sites and those living in a city with medium vehicular traffic were cross-sectionally compared with children from an area with low vehicular traffic and without industry. The prevalence of symptoms was measured using the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood written and video questionnaires. Lung function measurements were done in a subsample of 959 adolescents in the four areas. Multivariable analyses were done to estimate the effects of the residential area on symptoms and lung function adjusted for potential confounders. Crude prevalence of symptoms was similar across the studied areas. After adjustment, children and adolescents living near a petrochemical site had a statistically significant higher prevalence of respiratory hospitalizations in the previous year (Prevalence Ratio (PR)=1.49; 95%CI, 1.06-2.09) and of nocturnal cough (PR=1.29; 95%CI 1.05-1.57), respectively. Reduced lung function values among adolescents residing near the petrochemical areas were not observed. Although a higher prevalence of asthma in children and adolescents living near the petrochemical sites could not be demonstrated, as described in other studies, respiratory hospitalizations and nocturnal cough could be related to short-term exposures to pollutants. Other clinical and sub-clinical respiratory health effects in the petrochemical industry areas should be investigated.

KEYWORDS:

Air pollution; Allergy; Asthma; Lung function testing; Petrochemical industry

PMID:
24949814
DOI:
10.1016/j.envres.2014.05.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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