The effect of ozone associated with summertime photochemical smog on the frequency of asthma visits to hospital emergency departments

Environ Res. 1992 Aug;58(2):184-94. doi: 10.1016/s0013-9351(05)80214-2.


A retrospective study using ambient ozone, temperature, and other environmental variables and their effect on the frequency of hospital visits for asthma was conducted in New Jersey, an area that often exceeds the allowable national standard for ozone. Data on emergency department visits for asthma, bronchitis, and finger wounds (a nonrespiratory control) were analyzed for the period May through August for 1988 and 1989. Asthma visits were correlated with temperature while the correlation between asthma visits and ozone concentration was nonsignificant. However, when temperature was controlled for in a multiple regression analysis, a highly significant relationship between asthma visits and ozone concentration was identified. Between 13 and 15% of the variability of the asthma visits was explained in the regression model by temperature and ambient ozone levels. This association, when compared to similar studies in Canada, shows the contribution of ozone to asthma admissions to be stronger in areas with higher ozone concentrations. Thus, among regions with periodic accumulations of ozone in the ambient atmosphere, an exposure-response relationship may be discernible. This supports the need to attain air quality standards for ozone to protect individuals in the general population from the adverse health effects caused by ambient ozone exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Bronchitis / epidemiology
  • Bronchitis / etiology
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Meteorological Concepts
  • New Jersey
  • Ontario
  • Ozone / adverse effects
  • Ozone / analysis*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Seasons*
  • Smog / adverse effects
  • Smog / analysis*


  • Smog
  • Ozone