[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of weather conditions on the number of admissions for childhood asthma in Athens, Greece. Daily counts of childhood asthma admissions (2764) of the three main Children’s Hospitals in Athens, from hospital registries during a 3-year period (2001-2003), were obtained. The meteorological data reviewed consists of daily values of 20 parameters recorded at the National Observatory of Athens during the study period: maximum temperature (Tmax); minimum temperature (Tmin); mean temperature (Tmean); diurnal temperature range (Trange = Tmax – Tmin); day-today change in maximum temperature (ΔTmax); day-to-day change in minimum temperature (ΔTmin); day-to-day change in mean temperature (ΔTmean); day-to-day change in diurnal temperature range (ΔTrange); mean relative humidity (RH); day-to-day change in mean relative humidity (ΔRH); mean water vapor pressure (e); day-to-day change in mean water vapor pressure (Δe); mean atmospheric pressure at sea level (P); day-to-day change in mean atmospheric pressure (ΔP); mean irradiance (I); day-to-day change in mean irradiance (ΔI); mean sunshine (S); day-to-day change in mean sunshine (ΔS); mean wind speed (v) and day-to-day change in mean wind speed (Δv). The performed statistical methods were: (i) Pearson’s χ2 test, using contingency tables and (ii) Factor and Cluster analysis. The application of this 2-part analysis revealed the relationship between the extracted weather types and the frequency of childhood asthma admissions in Athens. The results showed that weather conditions with low temperature, low water vapor pressure and cold anticyclonic presence were significantly correlated with an increase in the number of asthma admissions among children in Athens. The impact of these specific weather conditions on asthma exacerbation should be interpreted either by the asthmogenic effect of humid weather per se or the association with respiratory viral infection, mold’s and mites’ allergy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The associations between black smoke, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, surface ozone, and admissions for childhood asthma (ACA) in the Greater Athens Area (GAA) were evaluated. The mean monthly values of the mentioned air pollutants were obtained from the eight stations of the Athens air pollution-monitoring network for the period 1984-2000, whereas the corresponding monthly values of ACA were derived from the hospital registries of the three main Children’s Hospitals of Athens. The results of simple linear correlation showed that the monthly values of ACA depend mainly on black smoke, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide. The corresponding correlation coefficients were statistically significant for the 0-4 year age group, indicating an influence of primary air pollutants on childhood asthma. The application of stepwise regression analysis increased the linear correlation coefficient, and the corresponding amount of variance of childhood asthma, explained by ambient air pollution. The percentage was found to approach 43% for the 0-4 year age group and 50% for the 5-14 year age group. The results indicate a statistically significant influence of primary air pollutants on childhood asthma exacerbation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The association between asthma morbidity and meteorological conditions is well documented, but it is not clear to what extent more specific meteorological variables are implicated.
This study was aiming to investigate whether there is any association between specific meteorological conditions and the seasonal variation and the rate of asthma admissions among children in Athens.
Data were obtained retrospectively from hospital registries of the three main Children's Hospitals in Athens during a 23-year period (1978-2000). The meteorological database consisted of mean monthly values of eight meteorological variables. The whole period studied was divided into three time periods: 1978-1987, 1988-1993 and 1994-2000.
A clear seasonal trend with a permanent pattern was detected. There were more monthly asthma admissions in winter-spring and autumn for younger children, as well as a lower peak in winter and autumn and a major one in May for older children, without significant differences in between the three time periods. The results of a multiple regression analysis revealed that relative humidity and atmospheric pressure were predictors of up to 56.7% (1988-1993) and 59.2% (1994-2000) monthly asthma admissions among younger children. No relation of the time trend in asthma admissions during the periods studied for any age group with any of the meteorological variables was detected.
Our results indicate a constant seasonal variability in asthma admissions among children in Athens, whereas relative humidity and atmospheric pressure are the more implicated meteorological variables for younger asthmatic children.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trends in rates of asthma admissions among children have shown a variety of patterns in different countries in the last decades. We undertook the present study to determine the time trends in asthma admissions and readmissions of children in Athens, Greece. Data were obtained retrospectively from hospital registries of the three main children's hospitals in Athens from 1978 to 2000. Children admitted with the diagnoses of asthma, asthmatic bronchitis or wheezy bronchitis were included. Hospital admission rate for asthma among children 0-14 yr from 1978 to 2000 rose by 271% (p <0.001). The rise in rates among those aged 0-4 and 5-15 yr were 250% and 276%, respectively. The mean annual increase in admission rate was 12.2% for 1978-1987, 4.7% for 1988-1993 and 0.6% for 1994-2000. The readmission rate among children 0-14 yr was increased from 15.3% to 23.3%. A positive correlation between admission and readmission rates in all age groups was observed. In conclusion, our findings show an increase in the childhood asthma admission rate in Athens in late 1970's and during the 1980's, which has decelerated in the 1990's, particularly in the second-half of the decade. The readmission rate paralleled that of admissions over the entire study period.