Effects of seasonal smog on asthma and COPD exacerbations requiring emergency visits in Chiang Mai, Thailand


Background: Seasonal smog produces particulate matters that are less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10), which are known to have several impacts on the respiratory system. Objective: This study was to determine the association of an increased PM10 level due to seasonal smog in Chiang Mai and emergency visits for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations. Method: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted between the months of January and March from 2006 until 2009. The association of an increased PM10 level and the daily number of asthma and COPD exacerbations were analyzed using a generalized linear model; a Poisson regression model was fit to the number of daily emergency visits using predictor variables: lags of PM10, day of the week, and time. Results: There were a total of 917 emergency visits for acute exacerbations of asthma and COPD, with a median of 2 visits per day (range 0-10). The median PM10 level during the same interval was 64.5 microgram per cubic meter (μg/m3) (16-304). For every 10 μg/m3 rise in PM10 concentration, there was a lag time of 6 days for asthma exacerbations [Adjusted relative risk (RR)=1.020; 95% confident interval (CI), 1.001-1.040; (p=0.014)], 7 days for COPD exacerbations [RR=1.030; 95%CI, 1.010-1.050 (p=0.024)] and 7 days for all exacerbations [RR=1.030 95%CI, 1.010-1.040 (p<0.001)]. Conclusions: This study confirms the effect of increasing PM10 concentrations from seasonal smog on asthma and COPD exacerbations. However, there was an approximately 1 week lag time between the elevated PM10 levels and time to emergency visits due to disease exacerbation. © 2016, Allergy and Immunology Society of Thailand. All rights reserved.


Pothirat C., Tosukhowong A., Chaiwong W., Liwsrisakun C., Inchai J.


Asian Pacific Journal of Allergy and Immunology; 2016


Asthma, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Emergency, Exacerbation, Pollution