Background: Asian dust events are caused by dust storms that originate in the deserts of China and Mongolia and drift across East Asia. We hypothesized that the dust events would increase incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests by triggering acute events or exacerbating chronic diseases.
Methods: We analyzed the Utstein-Style data collected in 2005 to 2008 from seven prefectures covering almost the entire length of Japan to investigate the effect of Asian dust events on out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. Asian dust events were defined by the measurement of light detection and ranging. A time-stratified case-crossover analysis was performed. The strength of the association between Asian dust events and out-of-hospital cardiac arrests was shown by odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals in two conditional logistic models. A pooled estimate was obtained from area-specific results by random-effect meta-analysis.
Results: The total number of cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest was 59 273, of which 35 460 were in men and 23 813 were in women. The total number of event days during the study period was smallest in Miyagi and Niigata and largest in Shimane and Nagasaki. There was no significant relationship between Asian dust events and out-of-hospital cardiac arrests by area in either of the models. In the pooled analysis, the highest odds ratios were observed at lag day 1 in both model 1 (OR 1.07; 95% CI, 0.97–1.19) and model 2 (OR 1.08; 95% CI, 0.97–1.20). However, these results were not statistically significant.
Conclusions: We found no evidence of an association between Asian dust events and out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.