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Relationship of Basic Military Trainee Emergency Department Visits for Asthma and San Antonio Air Quality

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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.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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