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A Retrospective Investigation of PM10 in Ambient Air and Cardiopulmonary Hospital Admissions in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: 1995–2000

Arena, Vincent C. PhD; Mazumdar, Sati PhD; Zborowski, Jeanne V. PhD; Talbott, Evelyn O. DrPH; He, Shui PhD; Chuang, Ya-Hsiu MPS; Schwerha, Joseph J. MD, MPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2006 - Volume 48 - Issue 1 - p 38-47
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000183096.20678.f1
Original Articles

Objective: Air quality in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, has improved over the last decade, and we investigated whether the lower concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM10) are still associated with adverse health outcomes.

Methods: Daily cardiopulmonary hospital admissions in elderly residents of Allegheny County and countywide average PM10 measures were available from 1995 through 2000. Using generalized additive models (GAM), a Poisson regression model was fit to the number of daily admissions using predictor variables: lags of PM10, daily temperature and humidity, day of the week, and time.

Results: Our findings suggest that there is a positive association of PM10 with hospital admissions, and the effect is related to current-day PM10 levels.

Conclusions: Even at the lower levels of ambient air pollution as measured by PM10, there is still a suggestion of an adverse health effect in the elderly.

From the Departments of Biostatistics (Dr Arena, Mr Mazumdar, Mr He, Mr Chuang), Epidemiology (Ms Zborowski, Ms Talbott), and Environmental and Occupational Health (Dr Schwerha), University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

This research was partially supported by Allegheny County Health Department, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, agreement no. 43740.

Address correspondence to: Vincent C. Arena, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Biostatistics, 318 Parran Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15261; E-mail:

©2006The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine