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Association between ozone and emergency department visits: an ecological study

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The objective of this study was to examine the association between the levels of ozone concentration and emergency department (ED) visits for respiratory and cardiovascular conditions in Maryland in the United States by considering temporal and spatial characteristics, including socioeconomic status (SES), as a covariate. This study used multiple large datasets derived from government agencies for data of ozone, weather, census, and ED visits to represent Maryland in the summer of 2002. Block kriging was used to estimate the daily ozone and weather factors by ZIP code-day level. Results from a negative binomial regression showed that a 10-ppb increment of the 8-hr ozone level as a three-day average was associated with increased respiratory ED visits by 2.4%, after adjusting for weather factors, SES, and day of the week. For cardiovascular ED visits, an increment of 10 ppb of the 8-hr ozone level as a five-day average increased by 3.5%.
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Keywords: air pollutant concentrations; block kriging; geographic information systems; health; ozone

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: College of Nursing, Yonsei University, Seodaemoon-Gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea 2: Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA 3: School of Nursing, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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