Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
CARMO, Cleber Nascimento do et al. Association between particulate matter from biomass burning and respiratory diseases in the southern region of the Brazilian Amazon. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2010, vol.27, n.1, pp. 10-16. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892010000100002.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the short-term effects of exposure to particulate matter from biomass burning in the Amazon on the daily demand for outpatient care due to respiratory diseases in children and the elderly. METHODS: Epidemiologic study with ecologic time series design. Daily consultation records were obtained from the 14 primary health care clinics in the municipality of Alta Floresta, state of Mato Grosso, in the southern region of the Brazilian Amazon, between January 2004 and December 2005. Information on the daily levels of fine particulate matter was made available by the Brazilian National Institute for Spatial Research. To control for confounding factors (situations in which a non-causal association between exposure and disease is observed due to a third variable), variables related to time trends, seasonality, temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, and calendar effects (such as occurrence of holidays and weekends) were included in the model. Poisson regression with generalized additive models was used. RESULTS: A 10 μg/m3 increase in the level of exposure to particulate matter was associated with increases of 2.9% and 2.6% in outpatient consultations due to respiratory diseases in children on the 6th and 7th days following exposure. Significant associations were not observed for elderly individuals. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the levels of particulate matter from biomass burning in the Amazon are associated with adverse effects on the respiratory health of children.
Keywords : Particulate matter; respiratory tract diseases; outpatient clinics; hospital; child; preschool; aged; Amazonian ecosystem; Brazil.