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Urban air quality and indicators of respiratory problems
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Public Health Sciences.
1997 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University , 1997. , 77 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 552
Keyword [en]
air pollution, respiratory symptoms, asthma, annoyance reactions, environmental epidemiology
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-7535ISBN: 91-7191-361-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-7535DiVA: diva2:147206
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-01-10 Created: 2008-01-10 Last updated: 2012-11-09Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Air pollution levels, meteorological conditions and asthma symptoms
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Air pollution levels, meteorological conditions and asthma symptoms
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1993 (English)In: European Respiratory Journal, ISSN 0903-1936, E-ISSN 1399-3003, Vol. 6, no 8, 1109-1115 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We wanted to assess relations between the daily occurrence of asthma symptoms and fluctuations of air pollution concentrations and meteorological conditions. In a panel of 31 asthmatic patients residing in the town of Piteå in northern Sweden, severe symptoms of shortness of breath, wheeze, cough and phlegm were recorded in an asthma diary together with suspected causes. Sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, black smoke, relative humidity and temperature were used to evaluate the relationship to the environment. By using multivariate analyses, we found that daily variations in the particulate pollution levels, indicated by black smoke levels below the criteria limits, had significant effects on the risk of developing severe symptoms of shortness of breath. This association was stronger among 10 subjects, who had at least five incident days with severe shortness of breath. Meteorological conditions were not significant in the multivariate models. Cough and phlegm did not show significant relationships to any environmental condition that was evaluated. Only one-third of the subjects reported, at least once during the study, symptoms believed to be related to air pollutants, although we found significant correlations between the pollution levels and the frequency of pollution-related symptoms. We conclude that an association has been established for black smoke as pollutant and shortness of breath as respiratory symptom, and that in certain asthmatics, effects were occurring at lower particulate levels than suggested previously.

National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-61316 (URN)8224125 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2012-11-09 Created: 2012-11-09 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
2. Daily air pollution levels and acute asthma in southern Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Daily air pollution levels and acute asthma in southern Sweden
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1998 (English)In: European Respiratory Journal, ISSN 0903-1936, E-ISSN 1399-3003, Vol. 12, no 4, 900-905 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study aimed to investigate the association between daily air pollution levels and the occurrence of acute respiratory signs and symptoms among people with asthma or asthma-like problems.

Thirty eight subjects in the southern Swedish city of Landskrona kept a daily diary for 10 weeks. The daily prevalence of symptoms, supplementary bronchodilator use and peak flow deviations were compared with measurements of environmental nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide, temperature and humidity in the city.

The occurrence of severe asthma, both during the day and during the evening, was significantly positively associated with the concurrent 24 h average concentration of NO2, which never exceeded 72 microg x m(-3). A correlation of borderline significance was found between the use of on-demand medication and the NO2 level. However, peak flow deviations were not associated with air pollution or weather conditions, which may be explained by the beneficial effect of bronchodilators used by 28 of the subjects.

The results of this study confirm those of some earlier studies and suggest that aggravation of asthma is related to daily variations in air quality, as indicated by relatively low ambient concentrations of nitrogen dioxide. These results also indicate that it may be appropriate to examine severe asthma symptoms separately.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Copenhagen: Munksgaard Forlag, 1998
Keyword
air pollution, asthma, nitrogen dioxide, peak flow, respiratory
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-46782 (URN)10.1183/09031936.98.12040900 (DOI)000076690500028 ()9817166 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2011-09-14 Created: 2011-09-14 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
3. People can detect poor air quality well below guideline concentrations: a prevalence study of annoyance reactions and air pollution from traffic
Open this publication in new window or tab >>People can detect poor air quality well below guideline concentrations: a prevalence study of annoyance reactions and air pollution from traffic
1997 (English)In: Occupational and Environmental Medicine, ISSN 1351-0711, E-ISSN 1470-7926, Vol. 54, no 1, 44-48 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVES: Motor vehicle exhaust fumes are the main source of atmospheric pollution in cities in industrialised countries. They cause respiratory disease and annoy people exposed to them. The relation between ambient exposure to air pollution mainly from motor vehicles and annoyance reactions in a general population was assessed. Also, the importance of factors such as age, sex, respiratory disease, access to the use of a car, and smoking habits on the reporting of these reactions was studied.

METHODS: A postal questionnaire was sent out in 55 urban areas in Sweden that had nearly identical air quality monitoring stations of the urban air monitoring network. From each area, 150 people aged 16-70 were randomly selected. The questionnaire contained questions on perception of air quality as well as a question on how often exhaust fumes were annoying.

RESULTS: Six-monthly nitrogen dioxide concentrations correlated consistently with the prevalence of reported annoyance related to air pollution and traffic exhaust fumes. Black smoke and sulphur dioxide had no significant effects. The frequency of reporting annoyance reactions was higher among people with asthma, women, and people with lack of access to a car.

CONCLUSIONS: In this study town dwellers could detect poor air quality at concentrations well below current guidelines for outdoor air pollution. This suggests that questionnaire studies have a place in monitoring air quality.

National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-61317 (URN)10.1136/oem.54.1.44 (DOI)9072033 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2012-11-09 Created: 2012-11-09 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
4. Prevalence of respiratory and hyperreactivity symptoms in relation to levels of criteria air pollutants in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Prevalence of respiratory and hyperreactivity symptoms in relation to levels of criteria air pollutants in Sweden
1997 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 7, no 3, 291-296 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Our knowledge of the adverse health effects from exposure to low levels of air pollution is still insufficient. Early indicators, such as respiratory symptoms, need more attention. We made use of the fact that possible weak effects can be detected more easily when the relevant exposure and other determinants are well controlled. A postal questionnaire was sent to random samples of inhabitants registered as residing in the Vicinity of 55 centrally located air quality monitoring stations in Swedish towns. There were 6,109 questionnaires (76%) returned. Multivariate analyses with confounding control were used to examine the effects of different levels of criteria pollutants on the prevalence of symptoms. The ranges of the half year values were 9-32 and 2-16 mu g/m(3) for nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide respectively. Logistic regression analyses showed higher risks for respiratory problems such as coughs, throat irritation and nose irritation among the persons most exposed, The associations were most obvious for nitrogen dioxide exposure among women. The suggested effects of air pollution exposure cannot be medically evaluated today but they are nevertheless interesting since they are found within common levels usually considered to be safe.

Keyword
respiratory symptoms, air pollutants, questionnaires, vehicle exhaust, Sweden
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-61319 (URN)10.1093/eurpub/7.3.291 (DOI)A1997YE78300011 ()
Available from: 2012-11-09 Created: 2012-11-09 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
5. Childhood asthma in four regions in Scandinavia: risk factors and avoidance effects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Childhood asthma in four regions in Scandinavia: risk factors and avoidance effects
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1997 (English)In: International Journal of Epidemiology, ISSN 0300-5771, E-ISSN 1464-3685, Vol. 26, no 3, 610-619 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: The high and increasing prevalence of childhood asthma is a major public health issue. Various risk factors have been proposed in local studies with different designs.

METHODS: We have made a questionnaire study of the prevalence of childhood asthma, potential risk factors and their relations in four regions in Scandinavia (Umeå and Malmö in Sweden, Kuopio in eastern Finland and Oslo, Norway). One urban and one less urbanized area were selected in each region, and a study group of 15962 children aged 6-12 years was recruited.

RESULTS: The prevalence of symptoms suggestive of asthma varied considerably between different areas (dry cough 8-19%, asthma attacks 4-8%, physician-diagnosed asthma 4-9%), as did the potential risk factors. Urban residency was generally not a risk factor. However, dry cough was common in the most traffic polluted area. Exposure to some of the risk factors. such as smoking indoors and moisture stains or moulds at home during the first 2 years of life, resulted in an increased risk. However, current exposure was associated with odds ratios less than one.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings were probably due to a combination of early impact and later avoidance of these risk factors. The effects of some risk factors were found to differ significantly between regions. No overall pattern between air pollution and asthma was seen, but air pollution differed less than expected between the areas.

National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-61318 (URN)10.1093/ije/26.3.610 (DOI)9222787 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2012-11-09 Created: 2012-11-09 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved

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