Asthma exacerbations and traffic: examining relationships using link-based traffic metrics and a comprehensive patient database
Published Date:Nov 03 2016
Source:Environ Health. 15.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC5094142
Funding:R01 AG034676/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States
U38 EH000617/EH/NCEH CDC HHS/United States
The Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP) is a unique community-based medical record data linkage system that provides individual patient address, diagnosis and visit information for all hospitalizations, as well as emergency department, urgent care and outpatient clinic visits for asthma. Proximity to traffic is known to be associated with asthma exacerbations and severity. Our null hypothesis was that there is no association between residential proximity to traffic and asthma exacerbations over eleven years of REP data.
Spatial coordinates of the homes of 19,915 individuals diagnosed with asthma were extracted from the REP database. Three metrics of traffic exposure at residences were calculated from link-based traffic count data. We used exploratory statistics as well as logistic and Poisson regression to examine associations between three traffic metrics at the home address and asthma exacerbations.
Asthma exacerbations increased as traffic levels near the home increased. Proximity to traffic was a significant predictor of asthma exacerbations in logistic and Poisson regressions controlling for age, gender and block group poverty.
Over eleven years in a comprehensive county-wide data set of asthma patients, and after controlling for demographic effects, we found evidence that living in proximity to traffic increased the risk of asthma exacerbations.
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