2013 Conference of the International Medical Geology Association (25–29 August 2013)

Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 4:30 PM


KAVOURAS, Ilias1, CHALBOT, Marie-Cecile1, RODOPOULOU, Sophia2, SAMOLI, Evangelia2 and DUBOIS, Dave3, (1)Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205, (2)Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, 11527, Greece, (3)Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Desert Research Institute, 755 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89119, ikavouras@uams.edu

Dona Ana County in New Mexico expereince high PM10 and PM2.5 levels, typically associated with high winds in spring and low winds in winter. PM10-2.5 particles of geological origin dominated PM10 mass and accounted for 25%of PM2.5 indicating a strong signature of unpaved roads. In this effort, we attempted to evaluate the associations between short-term exposures to ambient PM10, PM2.5 and O3levels and emergency room (ER) visits and hospitalizationfor respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms in Dona Ana County, an area with unique demographics and air pollution characteristics. We estimated the effects of ambient PM10, PM2.5,PM10-2.5and O3on hospital ER visits and hospitalizations. There were twice as many ER visits for respiratory symptoms as compared to admissions for all adults; but the opposite was true for the elderly. For CVD morbidity, admissions were up by 1.5 times over ER visits for all adults and three times for elderly. Substantial differences of the effects of air pollution have been previously observed using hospital ER visits and admissions attributed to differences in air pollution mix as well as demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, and the type and severity of the symptoms. We found effects of the PM10, PM10-2.5and O3 with respiratory and CVD hospital ER visits and admissions for adults 65+ years. When we removed days with extreme concnetrations many associations reached statistical significance indicating a logarithmic shape of the association under investigation. The estimated effects were not statistical significant (some of the marginally). This does not necessarily indicate the lack of an effect but rather the relatively small population size in the rural study area. We estimated significant effects between cardiovascular ER visits and PM10, PM10-2.5 and O3 during the warm period (April to September). This period included the high wind PM10 episodes and summertime O3 events. Higher effects of air pollution during the hotter period of the year have been identified earlier in similar settings. We observed a strong effect of summertime O3 concentrations on cardiovascular ER visits among the elderly. In addition, statistically significant effects of PM10 and PM2.5 were computed when days with extreme particles’ concentrations.