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Sunyer, J., Jarvis, D., Gotschi, T., Garcia-Esteban, R., Jacquemin, B., Aguilera, I., Ackerman, U., De Marco, R., Forsberg, B., Gislason, T., Heinrich, J., Norback, D., Villani, S., Kunzli, N

Chronic bronchitis and urban air pollution in an international study

Occup Environ Med, 2006, 63, 12, 836, 843, IF: 2.255, PMID: 16847030

Objectives The chronic effects of urban air pollution are not well known. Our aim was to investigate the association between the prevalence and new onset of chronic bronchitis and urban air pollution. Methods Subjects from the general population randomly selected for the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS I) during 1991-1993 in 21 centres in 10 countries were follow- from the years 2000 to 2002 (n = 3232 males and 3592 females; average response rate = 65.3%). PM2.5 and elements, with the same equipment at centre level, and home outdoor NO2 in 1,634 individuals were measured. Hierarchical models were used. Results The prevalence and new onset of chronic phlegm during the follow-up were 6.9% and 4.5%, respectively, in males and 5.3% and 3.5% in females. Smoking, rhinitis, poor education and low social class showed associations with (prevalence and new onset of) chronic phlegm in both genders, occupational exposures in males and traffic intensity (adjusted odds ratio for constant traffic, OR = 1.86; 1.24-2.77) as well as home outdoor NO2 (OR > 50 ig/m3 versus < 20 ig3 = 2.93; 1.14-7.49) among females. PM2.5 and S content at centre level did not show any association with prevalence or new onset of chronic phlegm. Similar results were obtained with chronic productive cough. Conclusion Individual markers of traffic at household level such as reported intensity or outdoor NO2 were risk factors of chronic bronchitis among females


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