The authors carried out a time-series study to determine whether short-term increases in the concentrations of spores were associated with emergency department visits from asthma among children 0 to 9 years of age in Montreal, 1994-2004. Concentrations of spores were obtained from one sampling monitor. The authors used parametric Poisson models to model the association between daily admissions to emergency rooms for asthma and ambient exposures to a variety of spores, adjusting for secular trends, changes in weather, and chemical pollutants. For first admissions and exposures to Basidiomycetes, the authors found positive associations at all lags but the concurrent day. For Deuteromycetes and Cladosporium, risks were positive starting at lag 3 days and diminished at lag 6 days. There was little evidence of associations for readmissions, except for Basidiomycetes. The results indicate that Basidiomycetes and Cladosporium spores may be implicated in the exacerbation of asthma among children, most notably in the case of first-time visits to emergency departments, and that the effects appear to be delayed by several days.
Occupational exposure is an important potential confounder in air pollution studies because it is plausible that individuals who live in highly polluted areas also work in more polluted environments. While the original investigators made some efforts to control for possible confounding by occupational variables, it was felt that these could be improved upon. The reanalysis team attempted to control for occupational confounding by supplementing the original data sets with two new variables, an indicator of the "dirtiness" of a subject's job and an indicator of possible exposure to occupational lung carcinogens. The attribution of these variables was based on the job title recorded by the original investigators and on the judgment of our experts concerning typical exposure patterns in different occupations. We fitted Cox proportional-hazards models identical to those that had been used by the original investigators while also including one or both of the new occupational covariates in the models. In none of the analyses did the inclusion of the occupational variables materially change the results. It would therefore appear that, in general, the results reported by the original investigators were not distorted by inadequate control of occupational variables. We also carried out some analyses using the dirtiness index as a stratification variable to assess effect modification. There was some indication, albeit inconsistent, that the effect of air pollution on mortality was greater among subjects with dirty jobs than among those with clean jobs.
Recent studies suggest that persons with congestive heart failure (CHF) may be at higher risk for the short-term effects of air pollution. We carried out this daily diary panel study in Montreal, Quebec, to determine whether indicators of self-reported health status and shortness of breath at night were associated with selected health-related and dietary factors, weather conditions, and air pollution.
Thirty-one subjects with CHF participated in this study in 2002 and 2003. Over a 2-month period, they measured their oxygen saturation, pulse rate, weight, and temperature each morning and recorded these and other data in a daily diary. Every morning they recorded on visual analogue scales their assessments of their general health, shortness of breath, and weakness, their weight, temperature and other data in a daily diary. Air pollution and weather conditions were obtained from fixed-site monitoring stations. This paper deals only with the daily self-reported health outcomes of general health and shortness of breath. We made use of mixed regression models, adjusting for within-subject serial correlation and temporal trends, to determine the association between oxygen saturation and pulse rate and health-related, dietary and environmental variables. Depending on the model, we accounted for the effects of a variety of health-related and dietary variables as well as NO(2), ozone, maximum temperature and change in barometric pressure at 8:00AM from the previous day.
Of the many associations for self-reported general health and shortness of breath, we found only a few statistically significant predictors, although increases in many variables showed decrements in self-reported general health and shortness of breath. The statistically significant associations with general health were increases in daily pulse rate and body weight, higher maximum ambient air temperature, higher relative humidity, and ozone (on the concurrent day). Statistically significant predictors of worsened shortness of breath at night were increases in blood pressure, body weight, and higher maximum ambient air temperature (lag 0 and 1 days). We also found that there was little confounding between environmental variables and health and dietary factors.
The findings from the present investigation suggest that certain health-related indices and environmental conditions affect self-reported health and shortness of breath in CHF patients, although larger studies are needed to confirm these findings.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether short-term changes in ambient temperature were associated with daily mortality among persons who lived in Montreal, Canada, and who died in the urban area between 1984 and 2007. We made use of newly developed distributed lag non-linear Poisson models, constrained to a 30 day lag period, and we adjusted for temporal trends and nitrogen dioxide and ozone. We found a strong non-linear association with high daily maximum temperatures showing an apparent threshold at about 27?C; this association persisted until about lag 5 days. For example, we found across all lag periods that daily non-accidental mortality increased by 28.4% (95% confidence interval: 13.8-44.9%) when temperatures increased from 22.5 to 31.8?C (75-99th percentiles). This association was essentially invariant to different smoothers for time. Cold temperatures were not found to be associated with daily mortality over 30 days, although there was some evidence of a modest increased risk from 2 to 5 days. The adverse association with colder temperatures was sensitive to the smoother for time. For cardio-respiratory mortality we found increased risks for higher temperatures of a similar magnitude to that of non-accidental mortality but no effects at cold temperatures.
The authors' purpose in this study was to determine whether changes in weather conditions were associated with daily mortality among people aged 65 years and older diagnosed as having congestive heart failure in Montreal, Canada, and who died in the urban area between 1984 and 1993. The authors used a time-stratified case-crossover design and adjusted the models for nitrogen dioxide and ozone. They found a strong nonlinear association with maximum temperature in the warmer months of the year, with a threshold at about 25 degrees C. The authors observed no associations after lag 3 days. In the cold period, they found that risks increased linearly with increasingly colder temperatures, but only after lag 2 days. The authors found no associations with relative humidity. For change in barometric pressure from the previous day, they found no associations in the cold period, but an increase in pressure from the previous day increased risk for lags 0 or 1 days. The authors found some differences between men and women.