Relationship between acute respiratory illness and air pollution levels in an industrial city

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1977 Aug;116(2):167-73. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1977.116.2.167.


A retrospective study relating air pollution levels to hospital admissions for acute exacerbations among adults with chronic respiratory illness and children with acute respiratory disease was carried out in a highly industralized Canadian city. A total of 1,780 patient records were collated, and daily, weekly, and monthly hospital admission rates were related to a standard air pollution index that took into account floating particles and sulfur dioxide. A correlation coefficient of 0.77 (P less than 0.01) between number of admissions and level of air pollution was found for the city as a whole, and the strength of the association varied inversely with the distance of the hospital from the industrial area.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Air Pollution / analysis*
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Bronchitis / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Industrial Waste / analysis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ontario
  • Pneumonia / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Sulfur Dioxide / analysis
  • Weather


  • Air Pollutants
  • Industrial Waste
  • Sulfur Dioxide