Relationship of Basic Military Trainee Emergency Department Visits for Asthma and San Antonio Air Quality
The U.S. Air Force conducts basic military training (BMT) in San Antonio, TX, an area with occasionally adverse air quality. Many individuals from the BMT population are evaluated for asthma symptoms. The relationship of air quality with these symptoms has not been studied in this population. This study examines the correlation of several air quality indicators in relation to emergency department (ED) visits for asthma from the BMT population. The variables studied were basic trainee ED visits for asthma, the 8-hour air quality index (AQI) for ozone, and the 24-hour AQI for particulate matter <2.5 m for the San Antonio metropolitan area, daily pollen and fungal spore counts, and daily high temperature. The ED visits were obtained by retrospective review of medical records. Basic trainees reporting asthma symptoms often are referred to the allergy/immunology department for evaluation. The ED visits for only those patients who were later formally diagnosed with asthma were correlated also with the air quality indicators. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated for all data pairs. There were 149 ED visits meeting inclusion criteria for the period of time studied (328 days). Forty-one percent of the basic trainees seen in the ED for asthma symptoms were later formally diagnosed with asthma in the allergy/immunology department. There was no significant correlation between basic trainee ED visits for asthma and the selected air quality indicators. Air quality does not significantly correlate with the occurrence of ED visits for asthma from the BMT population.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2005-11-01
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