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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Mar 19;13(3). pii: E341. doi: 10.3390/ijerph13030341.

Effects of Air Pollution on Hospital Emergency Room Visits for Respiratory Diseases: Urban-Suburban Differences in Eastern China.

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School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China.
Shandong Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Jinan 250014, China.
Shandong Experimental High School, Jinan 250001, China.
School of Foreign Languages and Literature, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China.
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China.


A study on the relationships between ambient air pollutants (PM2.5, SO₂ and NO₂) and hospital emergency room visits (ERVs) for respiratory diseases from 2013 to 2014 was performed in both urban and suburban areas of Jinan, a heavily air-polluted city in Eastern China. This research was analyzed using generalized additive models (GAM) with Poisson regression, which controls for long-time trends, the "day of the week" effect and meteorological parameters. An increase of 10 μg/m³ in PM2.5, SO₂ and NO₂ corresponded to a 1.4% (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.7%, 2.1%), 1.2% (95% CI: 0.5%, 1.9%), and 2.5% (95%: 0.8%, 4.2%) growth in ERVs for the urban population, respectively, and a 1.5% (95%: 0.4%, 2.6%), 0.8% (95%: -0.7%, 2.3%), and 3.1% (95%: 0.5%, 5.7%) rise in ERVs for the suburban population, respectively. It was found that females were more susceptible than males to air pollution in the urban area when the analysis was stratified by gender, and the reverse result was seen in the suburban area. Our results suggest that the increase in ERVs for respiratory illnesses is linked to the levels of air pollutants in Jinan, and there may be some urban-suburban discrepancies in health outcomes from air pollutant exposure.


air pollution; emergency room visits; respiratory diseases; urban-suburban discrepancies

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