The association between air pollutions and emergency hospitalizations due to COPD and asthma across 16 Polish cities: population-based study
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Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland (Department of Environmental Health)
Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Tariff System, Warsaw, Poland
Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland (Statistical Laboratory)
Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland (Student of Computer Science)
Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland (Health Economics and Social Security Department)
Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland (Department of Epidemiology and Population Studies)
These authors had equal contribution to this work
Online publication date: 2024-02-21
Corresponding author
Agnieszka Micek   

Jagiellonian University Medical College, Statistical Laboratory, Michałowskiego 12, 31-126 Kraków, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2024;37(1):110-27
Objectives: In recent years numerous initiatives aimed at reducing air pollution have been undertaken in Poland. The general objective was to examine the correlation between air pollution measured by the level of particulate matter ≤10 μm in diameter (PM10) and emergency hospitalizations due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma in 16 Polish cities (capitals of the regions). Material and Methods: The authors aimed to diagnose the situation across 16 cities over a 5‑year period (2014–2019). Data on the number of hospitalizations was retrieved from the national public insurance system, the National Health Fund. A total number of 22 600 emergency hospitalizations was analyzed (12 000 and 10 600 in 2014 and 2019, respectively). The data on air pollution was accessed via the public register of the Chief Inspectorate for Environmental Protection air quality database. The authors of this article have used the data on PM10 daily exposure in each of the 16 cities in 2014 and 2019. Statistical methods included: non-parametric tests, a 2-stage modelling approach for time-series data, and multivariate meta-analysis of the results. Results: The results indicated that there was a statistically significant decrease in PM10 concentration in 2019 in comparison to 2014 in all cities, mainly in the autumn and winter season. However, the correlation between the improvement in the air quality and a decrease in emergency hospitalizations due to asthma and COPD turned out to not be as strong as expected. The authors observed a strong correlation between PM10 concentrations and hospitalizations due to asthma and COPD, but only when air quality norms were significantly above acceptable levels. Conclusions: Air pollution measured by PM10 concentration might be used as one of the predictors of the asthma and COPD emergency hospitalization risk, yet other factors like respiratory tract infection, health care organizational aspect, patient self-control, compliance and comorbidities should also be taken into consideration. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2024;37(1):110–27
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