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Weather and Airway Inflammation

Noh, Su Ryeon; Paek, Domyung

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000391710.47510.e7
Abstracts: ISEE 22nd Annual Conference, Seoul, Korea, 28 August–1 September 2010: Climate Change and Environmental Health

School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the societies at whose meetings the abstracts have been accepted for presentation. These abstracts have not undergone review by the Editorial Board of Epidemiology.


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Adverse human health effects associate with weather conditions in the outdoor environment. However, there is little information about the influence of meteorological parameters on airway inflammation in everyday life. In this study, we evaluated acute effects of temperature, relative humidity, dew point, wind speed, and ambient barometric pressure on the fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FENO), a noninvasive measure of airway inflammation.

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FENO was measured in 939 subjects between December 2003 and January 2004 in a community based in Gwangyang, Korea. Meteorological factors were measured concurrently at a central monitoring station.

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An interquartile range (IQR) increase in the 21-hour moving average (MA) temperature of 5.1°C was associated with an decrease in FENO of 24.9% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 16.8–32.2); an IQR increase in the 57 hour MA relative humidity of 19.0% was associated with an decrease in FENO of 25.7% (95% CI: 13.3–36.2); an IQR increase in the 72 hour MA dew point of 5.7°C was associated with an decrease in FENO of 23.0% (95% CI: 14.2–30.9); an IQR increase in the 6 hour lag ambient barometric pressure of 3.6 mm Hg was associated with an increase in FENO of 15.9% (95% CI: 10.4–21.8), adjusting for age and gender in models.

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Short-term variations in weather conditions may lead to airway inflammation as measured by FENO. This study suggests that cold temperature, low humidity, low dew point, or high atmospheric pressure may contribute to adverse effects on cardiorespiratory health in dry and cold winter.

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