Background: Environmental factors are likely to be involved in explaining the wide geographical variation in asthma and atopic diseases that has been documented in many recent epidemiological studies. Aim: To evaluate to what extent climate and outdoor NO 2 pollution can explain the geographical variation in the prevalence of asthma and allergic rhinitis, and to estimate the relative risk for exposure to different levels of these two factors. Methods: The impact of climate and long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) pollution on asthma and allergic rhinitis was assessed in a cross-sectional study, carried out during 1998 to 2000 on young adults aged 20 to 44 years (n = 18 873), living in 13 areas from two different Italian climatic regions (subcontinental and Mediterranean). Results: Mediterranean areas had a significantly higher prevalence of asthma-like symptoms (P < 0.001), higher annual mean temperature (16.2°C vs. 12.9°C), lower temperature range (16.0 C° vs. 22.1 C°) and lower NO 2 levels (31.46 μg/m 3 vs. 57.99 μg/m 3) than subcontinental ones. Mediterranean climate was associated with an increased risk of wheeze (OR = 1.23; 95% CI 1.13 to 1.35), tightness in the chest (OR = 1.21; 95% CI 1.11 to 1.33), shortness of breath (OR = 1.21; 95% CI 1.08 to 1.36) and asthma attacks (OR= 1.19; 95% CI 1.07 to 1.31). After adjusting for climate, an increase of 18.3 μg/m 3 in NO 2 levels moderately increased the risk of asthma attacks (OR = 1.13; 95% CI 0.98 to 1.32), tightness in the chest (OR = 1.11; 95% CI 0.98 to 1.26) and wheeze (OR = 1.11; 95% CI 0.96 to 1.28). When the levels of outdoor NO 2 exposure rose, the prevalence of allergic rhinitis increased significantly in the Mediterranean region (OR = 1.38; 95% CI 1.12 to 1.69), but not in the subcontinental one (OR = 1.03; 95% CI 0.83 to 1.28). Conclusion: Our results show that the prevalence of asthma increases when annual mean temperature increases and temperature range decreases. Furthermore, climate interacts with NO 2 outdoor exposure, increasing the risk for allergic rhinitis in people exposed to high stable temperatures. A long-term role for the effect of traffic pollution on asthma is also suggested.

The impact of climate and traffic-related NO 2 on the prevalence of asthma and allergic rhinitis in Italy

Carrozzi L.;
2002-01-01

Abstract

Background: Environmental factors are likely to be involved in explaining the wide geographical variation in asthma and atopic diseases that has been documented in many recent epidemiological studies. Aim: To evaluate to what extent climate and outdoor NO 2 pollution can explain the geographical variation in the prevalence of asthma and allergic rhinitis, and to estimate the relative risk for exposure to different levels of these two factors. Methods: The impact of climate and long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) pollution on asthma and allergic rhinitis was assessed in a cross-sectional study, carried out during 1998 to 2000 on young adults aged 20 to 44 years (n = 18 873), living in 13 areas from two different Italian climatic regions (subcontinental and Mediterranean). Results: Mediterranean areas had a significantly higher prevalence of asthma-like symptoms (P < 0.001), higher annual mean temperature (16.2°C vs. 12.9°C), lower temperature range (16.0 C° vs. 22.1 C°) and lower NO 2 levels (31.46 μg/m 3 vs. 57.99 μg/m 3) than subcontinental ones. Mediterranean climate was associated with an increased risk of wheeze (OR = 1.23; 95% CI 1.13 to 1.35), tightness in the chest (OR = 1.21; 95% CI 1.11 to 1.33), shortness of breath (OR = 1.21; 95% CI 1.08 to 1.36) and asthma attacks (OR= 1.19; 95% CI 1.07 to 1.31). After adjusting for climate, an increase of 18.3 μg/m 3 in NO 2 levels moderately increased the risk of asthma attacks (OR = 1.13; 95% CI 0.98 to 1.32), tightness in the chest (OR = 1.11; 95% CI 0.98 to 1.26) and wheeze (OR = 1.11; 95% CI 0.96 to 1.28). When the levels of outdoor NO 2 exposure rose, the prevalence of allergic rhinitis increased significantly in the Mediterranean region (OR = 1.38; 95% CI 1.12 to 1.69), but not in the subcontinental one (OR = 1.03; 95% CI 0.83 to 1.28). Conclusion: Our results show that the prevalence of asthma increases when annual mean temperature increases and temperature range decreases. Furthermore, climate interacts with NO 2 outdoor exposure, increasing the risk for allergic rhinitis in people exposed to high stable temperatures. A long-term role for the effect of traffic pollution on asthma is also suggested.
2002
De Marco, R.; Poli, A.; Ferrari, M.; Accordini, S.; Giammanco, G.; Bugiani, M.; Villani, S.; Ponzio, M.; Bono, R.; Carrozzi, L.; Cavallini, R.; Cazzoletti, L.; Dallari, R.; Ginesu, F.; Lauriola, P.; Mandrioli, P.; Perfetti, L.; Pignato, S.; Pirina, P.; Struzzo, P.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1083150
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