Non-anthropogenic dust exposure and asthma medication purchase in children

Maayan Yitshak-Sade, Victor Novack, Itzhak Katra, Rafael Gorodischer, Asher Tal, Lena Novack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Air pollution has been shown to increase frequency of asthma attacks, as usually measured by hospitalisation rates. We hypothesise that purchase of asthma reliever medications will reflect a broader association between the environmental exposure and asthma exacerbations. In a time series analysis, we estimated the association of dust storms with mild asthma manifestations, as indicated by medication purchases, during 2005-2011. We compared our results with the estimation of the association of dust storms with hospitalisations due to asthma and asthma-like symptoms. We detected 289 dust storms characterised by high levels of particulate matter <10 μm in diameter. We identified 42 920 children with asthma, wheezing or asthma-like symptoms, of whom 2418 were hospitalised. We observed a higher risk of asthma medication purchase on the day of a mild dust storm (relative risk 1.05, 95% CI 1.00-1.10). The next peak in drug purchases was 3 days later and was more pronounced among Bedouin-Arab children. Stratified analyses showed higher risks for hospitalisation among Bedouin-Arab children; especially among children living in temporary houses (relative risk 1.33, 95% CI 1.04-1.71). We observed an increased risk of asthma medication purchase associated with mild dust storms. The risk observed for hospitalisation was more pronounced among the rural Bedouin-Arab population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-660
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015

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