Salud Pública de México
Print version ISSN 0036-3634
ROMERO-PLACERES, Manuel et al. Air pollution, bronchial asthma, and acute respirator and infections in children less years of age, Habana City. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2004, vol.46, n.3, pp. 222-233. ISSN 0036-3634. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342004000300012.
OBJECTIVE: To identify the relationship between emergency visits for acute respiratory illnesses, acute bronchial asthma crisis (ABAC) and acute respiratory infections (ARI), in children less than 14 years of age, and the daily changes of air pollutant levels, in two central hospitals of Havana City, between October 1st 1996 and March 16 1998. MATERIAL AND METHODS: An ecological time series study was conducted. We assessed the relationship between the presence of acute respiratory illnesses, ABAC, and IRA, and exposure to levels of particles less than 10 µg/m3 (PM10), smoke, and sulfur dioxide (SO2); negative binomial regression models were used to assess latency periods of one to five days as well as the cumulative effect of seven days before the emergency visit. RESULTS: The levels of atmospheric pollutants were low, in general. The 24-hour mean values for PM10 levels, smoke, and SO2, were 59.2 µg/m3 (SD=29.2), 27.7 µg/m3 (SD=21.2), and 21.1 µg/m3 (SD=20.1), respectively. An increase of 20 µg/m3 in the daily average of black smoke was associated with a 2.2% increase (95% CI 0.9-3.6) in the number of emergency visits for ABAC. A 20µg/m3 increase in the daily average of black smoke and SO2 was associated with an increase in ARI of 2.4% (95% CI 1.2-3.6), and 5% (95% CI 1.3-5.3), respectively, with a 5-day lag. We also ob served a cumulative effect for all the contaminants studied. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that air pollution levels in Havana City affect children's respiratory health; therefore implementation of control measures is necessary, especially those aimed at decreasing motor vehicle exhaust fumes
Keywords : smoke inhalation injury; SO2; asthma; respiratory tract infections; child; air pollution; Cuba.