Title

Effects of Ambient Air Pollution on Childhood Asthma Exacerbation in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Region, 2011 - 2014.

Year of Publication

2021

Number of Pages

110955

Date Published

2021 Mar 04

ISSN Number

1096-0953

Abstract

<p>Fine particulate matter (PM) and ozone (O) air pollutants are known risk factors for asthma exacerbation. We studied the association of these air pollutants with pediatric asthma exacerbation in the Philadelphia metropolitan region, and evaluated potential effect modification by children's characteristics (e.g., race/ethnicity, atopic conditions) and environmental factors (e.g., neighborhood tree canopy, meteorological factors, aeroallergens). We conducted a time-stratified case-crossover study of 54,632 pediatric (age ≤18 years) asthma exacerbation cases occurring from 2011-2014, identified through electronic health records (EHR) of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) health system. We applied conditional logistic regression to estimate associations between air pollution and asthma exacerbation, using daily census-tract level pollutant concentrations estimated from the EPA Fused Air Quality Surface Using Downscaling (FAQSD) files. The associations were estimated within warm (Apr - Sep) and cold (Oct - Mar) months for unlagged exposure and for cumulative effects up to 5 days after exposure, with adjustment for temperature, relative humidity, and holidays. We found small increases in odds of asthma exacerbation with higher pollutant concentrations, with positive associations (OR, comparing concentrations of 75 to 25 percentile) observed for PM during both warm (1.03, 95% CI: 0.98 - 1.08) and cold months (1.05, 95% CI: 1.02 - 1.07), and for O during cold months (1.08, 95% CI: 1.02 - 1.14). The exposure-response relationship with PM during the cold months was essentially linear, whereas thresholds of effect were observed for the other associations at low-medium pollutant concentrations. Results were robust to multi-pollutant modeling and adjustment for additional covariates. We found no effect modification by most children's characteristics, while effect sizes were higher on days with detected tree and grass pollens during warm months. Our results suggest that even small decreases in pollutant concentrations could potentially reduce risk of childhood asthma exacerbation - an important finding, given the high burden of childhood asthma and known disparities in asthma control.</p>

DOI

10.1016/j.envres.2021.110955

Alternate Title

Environ Res

PMID

33676951

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