Seasonal extreme temperatures and short-term fine particulate matter increases pediatric respiratory healthcare encounters in a sparsely populated region of the intermountain western United States

Erin L. Landguth, Jonathon Knudson, Jon Graham, Ava Orr, Emily A. Coyle, Paul Smith, Erin O. Semmens, Curtis Noonan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Western Montana, USA, experiences complex air pollution patterns with predominant exposure sources from summer wildfire smoke and winter wood smoke. In addition, climate change related temperatures events are becoming more extreme and expected to contribute to increases in hospital admissions for a range of health outcomes. Evaluating while accounting for these exposures (air pollution and temperature) that often occur simultaneously and may act synergistically on health is becoming more important. Methods: We explored short-term exposure to air pollution on children’s respiratory health outcomes and how extreme temperature or seasonal period modify the risk of air pollution-associated healthcare events. The main outcome measure included individual-based address located respiratory-related healthcare visits for three categories: asthma, lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI), and upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) across western Montana for ages 0–17 from 2017–2020. We used a time-stratified, case-crossover analysis with distributed lag models to identify sensitive exposure windows of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) lagged from 0 (same-day) to 14 prior-days modified by temperature or season. Results: For asthma, increases of 1 µg/m3 in PM2.5 exposure 7–13 days prior a healthcare visit date was associated with increased odds that were magnified during median to colder temperatures and winter periods. For LRTIs, 1 µg/m3 increases during 12 days of cumulative PM2.5 with peak exposure periods between 6–12 days before healthcare visit date was associated with elevated LRTI events, also heightened in median to colder temperatures but no seasonal effect was observed. For URTIs, 1 unit increases during 13 days of cumulative PM2.5 with peak exposure periods between 4–10 days prior event date was associated with greater risk for URTIs visits that were intensified during median to hotter temperatures and spring to summer periods. Conclusions: Delayed, short-term exposure increases of PM2.5 were associated with elevated odds of all three pediatric respiratory healthcare visit categories in a sparsely population area of the inter-Rocky Mountains, USA. PM2.5 in colder temperatures tended to increase instances of asthma and LRTIs, while PM2.5 during hotter periods increased URTIs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number40
Pages (from-to)40
JournalEnvironmental Health: A Global Access Science Source
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2024

Keywords

  • Asthma
  • Case-crossover design
  • Distributed lag modeling
  • Environmental health
  • Environmental public health
  • Fine particulate matter air pollution
  • Hospital discharge data
  • Lag effects
  • Lower respiratory tract infections
  • Montana
  • PM
  • Respiratory infections
  • Rural
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Wildfire smoke
  • Woodfire smoke
  • Temperature
  • Humans
  • Smoke/adverse effects
  • United States/epidemiology
  • Seasons
  • Child
  • Montana/epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections
  • Air Pollution/adverse effects
  • Air Pollutants/adverse effects
  • Environmental Exposure/analysis
  • Particulate Matter/adverse effects
  • Asthma/epidemiology

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