Objectives : To evaluate the hypothesis that air pollution could increase emergency room visits for respiratory diseases, and if so, to quantify the strength of association between those. Methods : We compiled daily records of hospital emergency room visits for respiratory diseases in Seoul, from November 1. 1955 to October 31. 1996, by using medical utilization data of unscheduled visits. In addition, air quality and weather data for the same period was collected. And a case-crossover design was applied by adopting conditional logistic regression analysis to determine the relationship between air pollutants and emergency room visits for respiratory diseases. In particular, the control periods were chosen by a bidirectional paired matching technique 7, 14, and 21 days before and after the case periods. Results : Only ozone was associated with the increased number of emergency room visits for respiratory diseases. The relative risk according to a 30ppb increase of ozone concentration (24hr mean, lagged 1day) was 1.91(95% confidence interval = 1.78-2.05). Conclusion : There was a statistically significant association between the ambient ozone and daily emergency room visits for respiratory diseases.
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