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Measures of forest fire smoke exposure and their associations with respiratory health outcomes

Henderson, Sarah B.; Johnston, Fay H.

Current Opinion in Allergy & Clinical Immunology: June 2012 - Volume 12 - Issue 3 - p 221–227
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e328353351f
OUTCOME MEASURES: Edited by Henry Milgrom and Ralph Mosges

Purpose of review: Exposure to forest fire smoke is episodic, which makes its health effects challenging to study. We review the newest contributions to a growing literature on acute respiratory outcomes.

Recent findings: Smoke exposure was associated with increases in self-reported symptoms, medication use, outpatient physician visits, emergency room visits, hospital admissions, and mortality. The associations were strongest for the outcomes most specific to asthma.

Summary: Studies with varied approaches to exposure assessment and varied measures of respiratory outcomes were consistent among themselves, and consistent with most previous work.

aEnvironmental Health Services, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, 655 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver

bSchool of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

cMenzies Research Institute, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Correspondence to Sarah B. Henderson, Environmental Health Services, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, 655 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4R4, Canada. Tel: +1 604 910 9144; e-mail: sarah.henderson@bccdc.ca

Copyright © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.