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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 18(4); 2007 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2007;18(4): 326-332.
Effect of the Asian Dust Events on Respiratory Disease During the Spring
Jin Yong Kim, Kwang Je Baek, Kyung Ryong Lee, Young Joo Lee, Dae Young Hong
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Konkuk college of Medicine, Konkuk University Hospital, Korea. 20050079@kuh.ac.kr
In spring, dust storms originating in the deserts of Mongolia and China afflict Korea. These occurrences are known as Asian dust storm (ADS) events. The objective of this study was to assess the possible associations of Asian dust storm events with daily clinical visits for respiratory symptoms in Seoul, during the period 2001~2007.
Annually between March 1 and April 30 for the seven years 2001~2007, daily clinical visits for respiratory symptoms on the index days were compared with clinical visits on the comparison (non-ADS) days. Two non-ADS days were compared with each ADS index day, which were the days one week before and one week following the index day.
The daily Particulate Matter (PM10) average during the Asian dust days was 409.7 microgram/m3, Which was significantly higher than during the control days(p<0.001). Other meteorological elements, however were very similar. We identified 62 dust storm episodes. The strongest estimated effect of dust storms was increased risk for respiratory disease two days after an event. The mean number of daily chronic obstructive pulmonary disease admissions was higher for the second day following ADS than for the comparison days.
The Asian dust events were found to be weakly associated with the total number of patients exhibiting respiratory symptoms. However, there was a stronger association between dust events and hospital admissions due to respiratory causes, with a particularly strong association two days after an event. This suggests that persons with advanced respiratory diseases may be susceptible to Asian dust events.
Key words: Particulate Matter, Asthma, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
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