ECN publication
Particulate matter air pollution and respiratory symptoms in subjects having either asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a European multicentre panel study
Kos, G.P.A.; Karakatsani, A.; Analitis, A.; Perifanou, D.; Ayres, J.G.; Harrison, R.G.; Kotronarou, A.; Kavouras, I.; Pekkanen, J.; Hämeri, K.; Hartog, J. de; Hoek, G.; Katsouyanni, K.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Environment & Energy Engineering 1-4-2012
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-E--12-034 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
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Abstract Background The RUPIOH study, an EU-funded multicentre study, was designed to examine the distribution of various ambient particle metrics in four European cities (Helsinki, Athens, Amsterdam, Birmingham) and assess their health effects in subjects with asthma or COPD, based on a more detailed exposure assessment. Methods At each centre a panel of subjects with either asthma or COPD recorded respiratory symptoms and restriction of activities in a diary for six months. Exposure assessment included simultaneous measurements of coarse, fine, and ultrafine particles at a central site. In this paper the association of central site measurements with respiratory symptoms and restriction of activities is examined. Results A 10 µg/m3 increase of coarse particles concentrations was consistently associated with most symptoms (an increase of 0.6 to 0.7% in average) and limitation in walking at lag 1. Ozone was positively associated with cough at lags 1 and 2. No consistent associations were observed between fine and ultrafine particle number concentrations, nitrogen dioxide and respiratory health effects. Conclusions The observed associations with coarse particles are in agreement with the findings of toxicological studies. Together they suggest it is prudent to regulate also coarse particles in addition to fine particles.

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