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Original Articles

A relational analysis of acute wheezing and air pollution

Authors:

Manouri P Senanayake ,

Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians, LK
About Manouri
Senior Lecturer in Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Colombo,
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R P Samarakkody,

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, LK
About R P
Scientist, Environmental Division, National Building Research Organization, Colombo.
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S P Sumanasena,

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, LK
About S P
Medical Officer, Lady Ridgeway Hospital, Colombo.
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J Kudalugodaarachchi,

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, LK
About J
Medical Officer, Lady Ridgeway Hospital, Colombo.
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S R Jasinghe,

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, LK
About S R
Scientist, Environmental Division, National Building Research Organization, Colombo.
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A P Hettiarachchi

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, LK
About A P
Project Assistant, Environmental Division, National Building Research Organisation, Colombo.
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Abstract

Objective To correlate hospital attendance for
wheezing treated with nebulizer therapy with
pollutant levels recorded in ambient air in
Colombo.

Setting Emergency treatment unit (ETU) of the
Lady Ridgeway Hospital, Colombo.
Design A prospective observational case control
study.

Method Attendance at the ETU for nebulizer
therapy was recorded daily for 12 months. ETU
attendance for conditions other than wheezing
served as controls. The case and control attendance
rates were correlated with daily maximum and
minimum one hour average levels of sulfur dioxide
and oxides of nitrogen in ambient air as measured
by the continuous pollution monitor situated in the
Fort, Colombo.

Results 30,932 children needed nebulizer therapy
in the ETU (median daily attendance 85) during the
period of 12 months. The control population was
10,100 children (median daily attendance 28). The
pattern of pollutant levels and attendance rates for
wheezing showed a correlation on a time series.

Conclusion Air pollution levels in Colombo correlated
significantly with hospital attendance rates for
wheezing needing emergency treatment. The highest
recorded levels of sulfur dioxide and oxides of
nitrogen in ambient air showed a significant
correlation with the highest hospital attendance
rates, and the lowest pollutant levels with the
lowest hospital attendance rates. We conclude that
vehicle related pollutants in ambient air in
Colombo are affecting the respiratory health of
children.

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2001; 30: 66-8

(Key words: Hospital attendance, severe wheezing, sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, ambient air)

doi: 10.4038/sljch.v30i3.847

How to Cite: Senanayake, M.P., Samarakkody, R.P., Sumanasena, S.P., Kudalugodaarachchi, J., Jasinghe, S.R. and Hettiarachchi, A.P., 2009. A relational analysis of acute wheezing and air pollution. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 30(3), pp.66–68. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v30i3.847
Published on 18 Jul 2009.
Peer Reviewed

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