Published: 24 January 2022

Authors: Yaguang Wei, Xinye Qiu, Matthew Benjamin Sabath, Mahdieh Danesh Yazdi, Kanhua Yin, Longxiang Li, Adjani A. Peralta, Cuicui Wang, Petros Koutrakis, Antonella Zanobetti, Francesca Dominici, and Joel D. Schwartz

Source: This abstract has been sourced from NZ Respiratory Research Review Issue 200


    Rationale: Risk of asthma hospitalization and its disparities associated with air pollutant exposures are less clear within socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, particularly at low degrees of exposure.

    Objectives: To assess effects of short-term exposures to fine particulate matter (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of ⩽2.5 μm [PM2.5]), warm-season ozone (O3), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on risk of asthma hospitalization among national Medicaid beneficiaries, the most disadvantaged population in the United States, and to test whether any subpopulations were at higher risk.

    Methods: We constructed a time-stratified case-crossover dataset among 1,627,002 hospitalizations during 2000–2012 and estimated risk of asthma hospitalization associated with short-term PM2.5, O3, and NO2 exposures. We then restricted the analysis to hospitalizations with degrees of exposure below increasingly stringent thresholds. Furthermore, we tested effect modifications by individual- and community-level characteristics.

    Measurements and Main Results: Each 1-μg/m3 increase in PM2.5, 1-ppb increase in O3, and 1-ppb increase in NO2 was associated with 0.31% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.24–0.37%), 0.10% (95% CI, 0.05 − 0.15%), and 0.28% (95% CI, 0.24 − 0.32%) increase in risk of asthma hospitalization, respectively. Low-level PM2.5 and NO2 exposures were associated with higher risk. Furthermore, beneficiaries with only one asthma hospitalization during the study period or in communities with lower population density, higher average body mass index, longer distance to the nearest hospital, or greater neighborhood deprivation experienced higher risk.

    Conclusions: Short-term air pollutant exposures increased risk of asthma hospitalization among Medicaid beneficiaries, even at concentrations well below national standards. The subgroup differences suggested individual and contextual factors contributed to asthma disparities under effects of air pollutant exposures.

    Link to abstract

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