LOS ANGELES — In Pittsburgh, elevations of nitrogen dioxide were retrospectively associated with ED visits for acute exacerbations of respiratory disease, according to recent study findings presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting.
“The results of this retrospective analysis showed a very strong correlation between outdoor air pollution, as assessed by daily mean levels of nitrogen dioxide, and acute visits to Allegheny Health Network emergency departments for acute exacerbations of respiratory disease,” Nicole Sossong, BS, clinical research coordinator at Allegheny Singer Research Institute in Pittsburgh, told Healio.com/Allergy. “The results are significant since the reported levels of outdoor air pollution are within nationally accepted ranges and increased levels are associated with increased respiratory exacerbations.”
To evaluate this potential association, the researchers performed a retrospective analysis of 67,898 patients discharged between 2008 and 2013 and confirmed the primary discharge diagnoses as acute exacerbations of respiratory diseases. In addition, the researchers downloaded corresponding Environmental Protection Agency airy quality index data and evaluated the air pollution levels both on the day of ED visits and as the mean exposure during the previous week.
Using an F test with a stepwise regression, the researchers observed an association between levels of nitrogen dioxide for both the day of and the week prior to ED visits for acute exacerbations of respiratory diseases (P < .001).
“Future efforts need to focus on local public health policy initiatives that will result in improved health outcomes,” according to Sossong. – by Will Offit
Sossong N, et al. Abstract 277. Presented at: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting; March 4-7, 2016; Los Angeles.
Disclosure: Healio.com/Allergy could not confirm the researchers’ relevant financial disclosures at the time of reporting.