Associations between outdoor air pollution and hospital admissions in Brisbane, Australia

Arch Environ Health. Jan-Feb 2001;56(1):37-52. doi: 10.1080/00039890109604053.


The authors investigated the effects of ambient air pollution on hospital admissions in Brisbane, Australia. The authors used the Air Pollution on Health: European Approach protocol to examine the effects of particles, ozone, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide on daily hospital admissions for asthma and respiratory, cardiovascular, and digestive disorders (control diagnosis) that occurred during the period 1987-1994. Ozone was consistently associated with admissions for asthma and respiratory disease-with little evidence of a threshold. In two-pollutant models, the ozone effect was relatively unaffected by the control for high levels of other pollutants. Particulate pollution (measured by nephelometry) was associated positively with admissions for respiratory disease and admissions for asthma in summer, whereas a negative association was observed for cardiovascular admissions. Although sulfur dioxide was associated significantly with admissions for respiratory and cardiovascular disese, a significant association was also found for the control diagnosis of digestive disorders. No significant associations were found for nitrogen dioxide over the study period, although significantly positive seasonal interactions were found for asthma and respiratory disease in autumn, winter, and spring. It was concluded that current levels of ambient air pollution in Brisbane make a significant contribution to the variation in daily hospital admissions for asthma and respiratory disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Environmental Monitoring* / methods
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Nephelometry and Turbidimetry
  • Nitrogen Dioxide / adverse effects*
  • Nitrogen Dioxide / analysis*
  • Ozone / adverse effects*
  • Ozone / analysis*
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Queensland / epidemiology
  • Regression Analysis
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons
  • Sulfur Dioxide / adverse effects*
  • Sulfur Dioxide / analysis*
  • Time Factors
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Sulfur Dioxide
  • Ozone
  • Nitrogen Dioxide