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Tsai, S*; Yang, C†
*Department of Healthcare Administration, I-Shou University, Taiwan; and †Institute of Public Health, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan.
With growing evidence of the association between daily mortality and air pollution in adults, it is important to investigate whether infants are also susceptible to the adverse health effects of ambient air pollutants. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between air pollution and postneonatal mortality in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, a large industrial city with a tropical climate, during the period 1994 to 2000, using a case-crossover analysis.
Case-crossover analysis provides an alternative to Poisson time-series regression for studying the short-term adverse health effects of air pollution. The air pollutants examined included particulate matter (PM10), sulfur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and carbon monoxide (CO).
The risk of postneonatal deaths was estimated to increase by 4.0% per 67 μg/m3 (the interquartile range in daily ambient concentration of PM10) for PM10, 1.8% per 17.84 ppb for NO2, 5.1% per 0.31 ppm for CO, and 4.6% per 19.20 ppb for O3.
Although positive, none of these associations achieved statistical significance. The established link between air pollution levels and infant mortality may not be strong in cities with tropical climates; however other factors such as differences in pollutant mix or the underlying health of the postneonates may explain the lack of a strong association in this study. Further studies of this type in cities with varying climates and cultures are needed.
© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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