Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Effects of Temperature and Air Pollutants on Cardiovascular and Respiratory Diseases for Males and Females Older Than 65 Years of Age in Tokyo, July and August 1980-1995

Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Effects of Temperature and Air Pollutants on Cardiovascular and Respiratory Diseases for Males and Females Older Than 65 Years of Age in Tokyo, July and August 1980-1995

Article excerpt

We studied exposures to higher daily maximum temperatures and concentrations of air pollutants in Tokyo during the summer months of July and August from 1980 to 1995 and their effects on hospital emergency transports for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases for males and females [is greater than] 65 years of age. Cardiovascular diseases were angina, cardiac insufficiency, hypertension, and myocardial infarction. Respiratory diseases were asthma, acute and chronic bronchitis, and pneumonia. Except for pneumonia, daily maximum temperatures were not associated with hospital emergency transports. Increasing daily maximum temperatures, however, were associated with decreased hospital emergency transports for hypertension. Concentrations of nitrogen dioxide or particulate matter [is less than or equal to] 10 [micro]m, however, were associated with daily hospital emergency transports for angina, cardiac insufficiency, myocardial infarction, asthma, acute and chronic bronchitis, and pneumonia. For cardiac insufficiency, hypertension, myocardial infarction, asthma, chronic bronchitis, and pneumonia, the expected daily number of emergency transports per million were greater for males than for females. For angina and acute bronchitis, there were no differences for the expected daily numbers of emergency transports per million between males and females. Key words: air pollutants, cardiovascular disease, elderly, respiratory disease, temperature. Environ Health Perspect 109:355-359 (2001). [Online 13 March 2001]

http://ehpnet1.niehs.nih.gov/docs/2001/109p355-359ye/abstract.html

Previous studies have examined exposures to daily maximum temperatures and air pollutant concentrations during the warm summer months of July and August in Tokyo and their effect on the daily number of hospital emergency transports per million for heat stroke (1) and three cerebral vascular diseases: cerebral hemorrhage, cerebral infarction, and cerebral ischemia (2). Both studies indicated that males and females [is greater than] 65 years of age had the highest daily number of heat stroke and cerebral vascular disease hospital emergency transports per million of any age group to four Tokyo city hospitals. For heat stroke, exposures to daily maximum temperatures ([T.sub.max]) and concentrations of nitrogen dioxide were associated with the daily number of hospital emergency transports per million residents. Exposures to higher [T.sub.max] were associated with a decrease in the daily number of hospital emergency transports per million residents for cerebral hemorrhage. For cerebral infarction, hospital emergency transports per million were associated with increasing daily average [NO.sub.2] concentrations. For cerebral ischemia, exposures to [T.sub.max] and daily average ozone concentrations were associated with the daily hospital emergency transports per million residents.

For these four diseases, it was evident that increasing or decreasing numbers of hospital emergency transports per million were not associated with the same set of temperature and air pollutant variables. Therefore, additional studies to examine hospital emergency transports for other diseases as functions of daily maximum temperatures and air pollutant concentrations needed to be conducted on a disease-by-disease basis.

The studies on cardiovascular and respiratory diseases in Tokyo were undertaken because in the next 50-100 years, there could be a doubling of atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (3). This could raise surface temperatures year-round by 1-3 [degrees] C and result in a greater frequency and longer duration of heat waves during warmer months of the year not only in Tokyo but in many other major urban areas worldwide. Also the number of people [is greater than] 65 years of age in Tokyo is increasing (4), and this population appears to be most vulnerable to higher temperatures and higher air pollutant concentrations.

The months of July and August in Tokyo are when daily maximum temperatures are the highest and when many air pollutants have high concentrations because of atmospheric chemical and photochemical reactions and meteorological conditions that cause air pollutant concentrations to be high at ground level, especially in large, urban areas. …

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