Acute Respiratory and Cardiovascular Outcomes Associated with Low Levels of Ambient Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) on the Island of Oahu

AbstractScant literature exists regarding health effects of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution at or below national standards. This study examined the relationship between PM2.5 and acute care use and costs in Honolulu where PM2.5 is low. Single and distributed lag over-dispersed Poisson models were used to examine hospitalizations/emergency department (ED) visits associated with cumulative PM2.5 exposure over the current day and seven previous days (lags 0-7) in 2011. A 10-µg/m3 increase in cumulative PM2.5 concentration was associated with a 32% increase in respiratory admissions (RR=1.32, p=0.001) costing $486,908 and a 24% decrease in respiratory admissions in the comparison group (RR=0.76, p<0.001). ED visits increased by 12% at lag day 0 for respiratory outcomes (RR=1.12, p=0.03) and cumulatively with increased respiratory visits by 49% (RR=1.49) and increased combined respiratory and cardiovascular issues by 20% (RR=1.20; p<0.01 for both) costing $117,856. Additional research is needed on health effects within pollution lower levels.


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