Ozone-Related Respiratory Morbidity in a Low-Pollution Region

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Abstract

Objective:

We evaluated the effects of ozone on respiratory-related hospital admissions in three counties in Washington State from 1990 to 2006. We further examined vulnerability to ozone by key demographic factors.

Method:

Using linked hospital admission and ambient monitoring data, we estimated the age-, sex-, and health insurance-stratified associations between ozone (0 to 3 days’ lag) and respiratory-related hospital admissions in King, Spokane, and Clark County, Washington.

Results:

The adjusted relative risk (RR) for a 10 ppb increase in ozone at 3 days’ lag was 1.04 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.02, 1.07) for Clark County, 1.03 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.05) for Spokane County, and 1.02 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.03) for King County. There was consistent evidence of effect modification by age.

Conclusion:

Ozone at levels below federal standards contributes to respiratory morbidity among high-risk groups in Washington.

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