Air pollution and hospital emergency room admissions for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Valencia, Spain

Arch Environ Health. Jan-Feb 2002;57(1):41-7. doi: 10.1080/00039890209602915.


The short-term relationship between levels of air pollution and emergency room admissions for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was assessed in Valencia, Spain. The design was an ecological time-series study in which daily variation in air pollution was related to emergency chronic obstructive pulmonary disease visits to one of the city's hospitals. The pollutants under investigation were Black Smoke, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and ozone. The degree of association was analyzed with Poisson autoregressive regression, for which trend, seasonal patterns, temperature, humidity, days of the week, and incidence of influenza were controlled. Increases of 10 microg/m3 in ozone levels (lag 5) and of 1 mg/m3 in carbon monoxide (lag 1) were associated with increases of 6.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.2%, 10.1%) and of 3.9% (95% CI = 1.4%, 6.6%), respectively, in the expected chronic obstructive pulmonary disease cases. There was no significant association for the remainder of the pollutants. The described effects persisted even when the authors used models of differing specifications and when generalized additive models were used. The authors concluded that the results of this investigation, together with results of earlier research, demonstrate the significant effect of pollution on various health indicaors within Valencia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Carbon Monoxide / adverse effects*
  • Carbon Monoxide / analysis
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Ozone / adverse effects*
  • Ozone / analysis
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Spain / epidemiology


  • Air Pollutants
  • Ozone
  • Carbon Monoxide