The association between ozone and asthma ED visits by daily air quality alert status Open Access

Gilbertson, Kendra (2016)

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Ambient air pollution levels taken from outdoor monitors may not accurately represent the levels individuals are exposed to if higher pollution levels trigger avoidance behaviors through public health warning systems such as the Air Quality Index (AQI). If this is the case, there may be systematic bias towards the null when estimating the impact of outdoor air pollution on human health. The authors examined the association between ozone concentrations and hospital emergency department (ED) visits in metropolitan Atlanta on days when the AQI is rated 3, "unhealthy for sensitive groups," or 4, "unhealthy," versus days when the AQI is rated 1, "good," or 2, "moderate". The daily number of pediatric ED visits for asthma and wheezing was merged with daily meteorological, air pollution, and AQI data from 2004 to 2009 and analyzed using a Poisson linear model. The authors observed that controlling for AQI ratings of "unhealthy for sensitive groups" or "unhealthy" led to slightly higher rate ratios for ambient ozone levels and asthma ED visits. However, there was little difference in the association between ozone and emergency department visits on alert and non-alert days.

Table of Contents

Chapter I: Literature Review

Chapter II: Manuscript

Chapter III: Summary

Appendix A. Breakpoints for AQI calculations

Appendix B. Health guidelines for AQI pollutant levels

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