Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research (Jan 2019)

Effects of exposure to fine particulate matter in elderly hospitalizations due to respiratory diseases in the South of the Brazilian Amazon

  • A.B. Machin,
  • L.F. Nascimento,
  • K. Mantovani,
  • E.B. Machin

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 52, no. 2


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Exposure to air pollution is an important cause of hospital admissions due to respiratory diseases. Nevertheless, few studies use pollutant concentration data estimated by mathematical models. A time-series ecological study was developed, using data from hospitalizations due to respiratory diseases in people over 60 years of age, residents of Cuiabá, Brazil, during 2012, obtained from the Brazilian Ministry of Health. The independent variables were the concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and carbon monoxide (CO) estimated by mathematical modeling, minimum temperature, and relative humidity (obtained from the Brazilian Meteorological Agency), and the number of forest fires. The generalized linear regression model of Poisson was used, with lags of 0 to 7 days. The coefficients obtained were transformed into relative risk of hospitalization, with respective 95% confidence intervals; alpha=5% was adopted. In that year, 591 hospitalizations were evaluated, with a daily average of 1.61 (SD=1.49), the PM2.5 average concentration was 15.7 µg/m3, and the CO average concentration was 144.2 ppb. Significant associations between exposure to these contaminants and hospitalizations in lags 3 and 4 in 2012 were observed. There was a hospitalization risk increase of 31.8%, with an increase of 3.5 µg/m3 of PM2.5 concentrations and an increase of 188 in the total number of hospitalizations, with an expense of more than ≈US$ 96,000 for the Brazilian Public Health System. This study provided information on the cost of air pollution to the health system and the feasibility of using a mathematical model to estimate environmental concentration of air pollutants.