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Journal of Epidemiology
Vol. 18 (2008) No. 3 P 97-110



Original Article

Background: The effects of airborne particulate matter (PM) are a major human health concern. In this panel study, we evaluated the acute effects of exposure to PM on peak expiratory flow (PEF) and wheezing in children.
Methods: Daily PEF and wheezing were examined in 19 asthmatic children who were hospitalized in a suburban city in Japan for approximately 5 months. The concentrations of PM less than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) were monitored at a monitoring station proximal to the hospital. Moreover, PM2.5 concentrations inside and outside the hospital were measured using the dust monitor with a laser diode (PM2.5(LD)). The changes in PEF and wheezing associated with PM concentration were analyzed.
Results: The changes in PEF in the morning and evening were significantly associated with increases in the average concentration of indoor PM2.5(LD) 24 h prior to measurement (-2.86 L/min [95%CI: -4.12, -1.61] and -3.59 L/min [95%CI: -4.99, -2.20] respectively, for 10-μg/m3 increases). The change in PEF was also significantly associated with outdoor PM2.5(LD) concentrations, but the changes were smaller than those observed for indoor PM2.5(LD). Changes in PEF and concentration of stationary-site PM2.5 were not associated. The prevalence of wheezing in the morning and evening were also significantly associated with indoor PM2.5(LD) concentrations (odds ratios = 1.014 [95%CI: 1.006, 1.023] and 1.025 [95%CI: 1.013, 1.038] respectively, for 10-μg/m3 increases). Wheezing in the evening was significantly associated with outdoor PM2.5(LD) concentration. The effects of indoor and outdoor PM2.5(LD) remained significant even after adjusting for ambient nitrogen dioxide concentrations.
Conclusion: Indoor and outdoor PM2.5(LD) concentrations were associated with PEF and wheezing among asthmatic children. Indoor PM2.5(LD) had a more marked effect than outdoor PM2.5(LD) or stationary-site PM2.5.

Copyright © 2008 by Japan Epidemiological Association

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