Emergency Room Visits Due to Cardiovascular Illness From a Major Hospital of Chennai, India : Epidemiology

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Abstracts: ISEE 22nd Annual Conference, Seoul, Korea, 28 August–1 September 2010: Air Pollution - Exposure Characterization and Health Effects

Emergency Room Visits Due to Cardiovascular Illness From a Major Hospital of Chennai, India

Ravinder, Sheela; Johnson, Priscilla; Ramaswamy, Padmavathi; Ghosh, Santu; Thangavel, Bhuvaneswari; Balakrishnan, Kalpana; S., Subhashini A.

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doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000392328.26399.a9
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Cardiovascular disease is one among the leading causes of hospitalization. Air pollution exacerbates the condition of people with cardiovascular disease and causes measurable increase in the visits to the hospital. Emergency room visits (ERV) can be a direct result of short-term exposure to air pollution. The objective of this study was to collect the ERV because of cardiovascular illness from a major government hospital of Chennai for a period of 3 years and to evaluate the feasibility of using the available particulate matter (PM10) data so as to examine the association between PM10 and ERV.


Hospital data of ERV for the years 2006, 2007, and 2008 because of cardiovascular illness were collected from the Medical Records Department of a major government hospital of Chennai and was categorized by gender and age. PM10 data were collected from the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board.


A 60% increase in ERV because of cardiovascular disease from 2006 to 2008 was observed. The number of males reported for ERV was higher than females. The maximum number of visits among the adults was in the age group of 45 to 65 years. From the perspective of seasonal variation, the maximum number of ERV was observed between January and March. The PM10 level has shown a 50% increase from 2006 to 2008. It was also observed that the PM levels were highest during January to March, suggesting that air pollution plays a role in increasing the morbidity due to cardiovascular illness.


There is a need for further investigation on the negative effects of air pollution overcoming the challenges of data quality from developing countries. Efforts are underway to carry out time series analysis over the same period. This will allow generation of coefficients for multiple pollutants and multiple acute health outcomes, which is not well established in India.

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