Asthmatic symptoms and air pollution: a panel study on children living in the Italian Po Valley

  • Andrea Ranzi | aranzi@arpa.emr.it Reference Centre for Environment and Health, Regional Agency for Environmental Protection in Emilia Romagna, Modena, Italy.
  • Anna Freni Sterrantino Reference Centre for Environment and Health, Regional Agency for Environmental Protection in Emilia Romagna, Modena; Department of Statistics, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
  • Francesco Forastiere Epidemiology Department, Regional Health Service, Lazio Region, Rome, Italy.
  • Claudio Sartini Reference Centre for Environment and Health, Regional Agency for Environmental Protection in Emilia Romagna, Modena, Italy.
  • Giovanna Casale Local Health Unit, Rovigo, Italy.
  • Rino Cavallini Local Health Unit, Adria, Italy.
  • Aldo De Togni Local Health Unit, Ferrara, Italy.
  • Lorenza Gallo Local Health Unit, Ferrara, Italy.
  • Paolo Lauriola Reference Centre for Environment and Health, Regional Agency for Environmental Protection in Emilia Romagna, Modena, Italy.

Abstract

The Po Valley (Northern Italy) has elevated levels of air-pollution due to various sources of pollution and adverse weather conditions. This study evaluates the short-term effects of exposure to particulate matter with a diameter of 10 microns or less (PM10) on asthma symptoms in school-aged children. An initial cross-sectional survey was conducted in the area to estimate asthma prevalence in children. Out of a total of 250 asthmatic children identified by the study, 69 agreed to participate in a panel study. The PM10 exposure assessment was based on a combination of geographic and environmental measurements leading to a focus on three different areas, each characterised by its own daily PM10 level. Participants were monitored daily for respiratory symptoms for eight weeks (January-March 2006). We assessed the relationship between daily PM10 exposure and occurrence of asthma symptoms with a generalised linear model based on a total of 3864 person-days of observation. Exposure to PM10 per m3 was found to be particularly associated with cough (OR=1.03, CI 95% 0.99; 1.08) and phlegm (OR=1.05, CI 95% 1.00; 1.10). In the most polluted area, exposure to PM10 was also associated with wheezing (OR=1.18, CI 95% 1.02; 1.37).

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Published
2015-11-26
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Original Articles
Keywords:
Childhood asthma, GIS, PM10 exposure, Asthma symptoms, Italy
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How to Cite
Ranzi, A., Freni Sterrantino, A., Forastiere, F., Sartini, C., Casale, G., Cavallini, R., De Togni, A., Gallo, L., & Lauriola, P. (2015). Asthmatic symptoms and air pollution: a panel study on children living in the Italian Po Valley. Geospatial Health, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/gh.2015.366