PUMA
Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Nuvolone D., Della Maggiore R., Maio S., Fresco R., Baldacci S., Carrozzi L., Pistelli F., Viegi G. Geographical information system and environmental epidemiology: a cross-sectional spatial analysis of the effects of traffic-related air pollution on population respiratory health. In: Environmental Health, vol. 10 article n. 12. Biomed Central LTD, 2011.
 
 
Abstract
(English)
Background Traffic-related air pollution is a potential risk factor for human respiratory health. A Geographical Information System (GIS) approach was used to examine whether distance from a main road (the Tosco-Romagnola road) affected respiratory health status. Methods We used data collected during an epidemiological survey performed in the Pisa-Cascina area (central Italy) in the period 1991-93. A total of 2841 subjects participated in the survey and filled out a standardized questionnaire on health status, socio-demographic information, and personal habits. A variable proportion of subjects performed lung function and allergy tests. Highly exposed subjects were defined as those living within 100 m of the main road, moderately exposed as those living between 100 and 250 m from the road, and unexposed as those living between 250 and 800 m from the road. Statistical analyses were conducted to compare the risks for respiratory symptoms and diseases between exposed and unexposed. All analyses were stratified by gender. Results The study comprised 2062 subjects: mean age was 45.9 years for men and 48.9 years for women. Compared to subjects living between 250 m and 800 m from the main road, subjects living within 100 m of the main road had increased adjusted risks for persistent wheeze (OR = 1.76, 95% CI = 1.08-2.87), COPD diagnosis (OR = 1.80, 95% CI = 1.03-3.08), and reduced FEV1/FVC ratio (OR = 2.07, 95% CI = 1.11-3.87) among males, and for dyspnea (OR = 1.61, 95% CI = 1.13-2.27), positivity to skin prick test (OR = 1.83, 95% CI = 1.11-3.00), asthma diagnosis (OR = 1.68, 95% CI = 0.97-2.88) and attacks of shortness of breath with wheeze (OR = 1.67, 95% CI = 0.98-2.84) among females. Conclusion This study points out the potential effects of traffic-related air pollution on respiratory health status, including lung function impairment. It also highlights the added value of GIS in environmental health research.
URL: http://www.ehjournal.net/content/10/1/12
DOI: 10.1186/1476-069X-10-12
Subject Epidemiology
GIS
K.4 COMPUTERS AND SOCIETY


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