Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
MOURA, Marisa; JUNGER, Washington Leite; MENDONCA, Gulnar Azevedo e Silva and LEON, Antonio Ponce de. Air quality and emergency pediatric care for symptoms of bronchial obstruction categorized by age bracket in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.3, pp. 635-644. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2009000300018.
The objective of this study was to estimate the association between levels of air pollutants and respiratory symptoms in children. An ecological time-series study was conducted between April 2002 and March 2003 with daily data on PM10, SO2, CO, NO2, and O3 and paediatric care in emergency rooms due to symptoms indicating bronchial obstruction. The potential confounding factors considered were: time trend, seasonality, meteorological variables, respiratory infections and the effects of weekends and holidays. A semi-parametric Poisson regression was used to model the time series. Splines (data smoothing functions), indicator variables and cubic polynomials were used to adjust the effects of the confounding variables. A 5% significance level was adopted for the study. A statistically significant increase of 6.7% in paediatric visits of children of less than 2 years of age was associated with PM10. A 3% positive association with O3 showed borderline significance (p < 0.06) in this age bracket. Our findings highlight the existence of an acknowledged public health problem in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and also emphasize the need to identify the principal sources of air pollutants.
Keywords : Air Pollution; Asthma; Child.