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, 52 (6), 416-426

Associations of Ambient Air Pollutant Concentrations With Respiratory Symptoms and Perceived Health Status in Japanese Adults With and Without Chronic Respiratory Diseases: A Panel Study

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Associations of Ambient Air Pollutant Concentrations With Respiratory Symptoms and Perceived Health Status in Japanese Adults With and Without Chronic Respiratory Diseases: A Panel Study

Motoyuki Nakao et al. J Prev Med Public Health.

Abstract

Objectives: In recent years, transboundary air pollution from mainland East Asia has led to growing concerns about air pollution in Japan. Air pollution is reportedly associated with the exacerbation of respiratory diseases. In this study, we assessed the effects of air pollution on respiratory symptoms and the health status of participants with and without chronic respiratory diseases.

Methods: Participants (n=2753) with and without chronic respiratory diseases who visited healthcare facilities in Japan during February from 2010 to 2015 filled out a self-report questionnaire regarding their symptoms and perceived health status. Participants were followed up during April-May and June-July.

Results: Oxidant concentrations were associated with respiratory symptoms, overall health, and quality of life (QoL). Suspended particulate matter (SPM) and particulate matter <2.5 μm levels were associated with physical fitness; SPM was also associated with QoL. Recent experience of an Asian sand dust event had a significant effect on allergic symptoms, change in health, and QoL.

Conclusions: Respiratory symptoms were more strongly affected by oxidants than by other pollutants. Significant associations of air pollutants were found with a comprehensive range of items related to perceived health status, including overall health and QoL. Although the effects of air pollutants on respiratory symptoms and health status were more apparent among patients with respiratory diseases, the adverse effects of air pollutants were significant even among participants without such conditions.

Keywords: Air pollution; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Health status; Japan; Quality of life.

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The authors have no conflicts of interest associated with the material presented in this paper.

Figures

Figure. 1.
Figure. 1.
Study area and locations of air monitoring stations. (A) Yamaguchi Prefecture, (B) map of Japan, and (C) Niigata Prefecture.
Figure. 2.
Figure. 2.
Monthly averages of daily mean values of (A) temperature, (B) relative humidity, (C) carbon monoxide, (D) sulfur dioxide, (E) oxidants, (F) nitrogen dioxide, (G) suspended particulate matter (SPM), and (H) particulate matter <2.5 µm (PM2.5) and number of Asian sand dust (ASD) events per month. Data, except for the number of ASD events, are presented as mean±standard deviation. Open circles and closed circles represent the data in Yamaguchi and Niigata, respectively. NAAQS: National Ambient Air Quality Standard. Data from Ministry of the Environment. Environmental quality standards in Japan: air quality [Internet] [20].

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