Table of Contents
ISRN Public Health
Volume 2013, Article ID 846297, 5 pages
Research Article

Remarks on Ambient Air Pollution and Health Outcomes

Population Studies Division, Health Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0K9

Received 29 April 2013; Accepted 26 June 2013

Academic Editors: R. S. Carel, T. Nawrot, and A. Rosano

Copyright © 2013 Mieczysław Szyszkowicz. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Ambient air pollution is a recognized risk factor for multiple health conditions. For some health problems, the impact of air pollution is particularly evident to the patients in a specific age range. Nonsimultaneous exposures to two or more air pollutants may have different relationships with health outcomes than do simultaneous exposures. Methods. Case-crossover technique was used to analyze data on emergency department (ED) visits for ischemic heart disease (IHD), epistaxis, and upper respiratory infection (URI). Conditional logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios and their 95% confidence intervals corresponding to an increase in an interquartile range of air pollutant concentrations. Results. The results for IHD show that for older patients (age 60+ years), the association between sulphur dioxide (SO2) exposure and IHD is weak. For ED visits for epistaxis (O3 and SO2 in one model) and URI (O3 and NO2 in one model), air pollutants lagged differently in the common model indicated significant statistical associations but not for common lags. Conclusion. The study findings, based on analyzed examples, suggest that (i) IHD cases in older age are less related to air pollution and (ii) air pollutants may affect some health conditions by a specific sequence of exposure occurrences.