Cerebrovascular accidents, or strokes, are the second leading cause of mortality and the leading cause of morbidity in both Chile and the rest of the world. However, the relationship between particulate matter pollution and strokes is not well characterized. The association between fine particle concentration and stroke admissions was studied. Data on hospital admissions due to cerebrovascular accidents were collected from the Ministry of Health. Air quality and meteorological data were taken from the Air Quality database of the Santiago Metropolitan Area. Santiago reported 33,624 stroke admissions between January 1, 2002 and December 30, 2006. PM2.5 concentration was markedly seasonal, increasing during the winter. This study found an association between PM2.5 exposure and hospital admissions for stroke; for every PM2.5 concentration increase of 10 μg m(-3), the risk of emergency hospital admissions for cerebrovascular causes increased by 1.29% (95% CI 0.552%-2.03%).
Keywords: Air pollution; Cerebrovascular disease; Epidemiology; Negative binomial regression; Particulate matter.
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