Recent studies have revealed the influence of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) on increased medication use, hospital admission, and emergency room visits for asthma attack in children, but the lagged influence of PM2.5 on children’s asthma and geographic disparities of children’s asthma have rarely been discussed simultaneously. This study investigated the documented diagnosis of children’s asthma in clinic visits for children aged less than 15 years old that were associated with PM2.5 in two counties located in west-central Taiwan during 2005–2010. The result shows that PM2.5 had a significant lagged effect on children’s asthma for up to 6 days. A significantly higher relative risk for children’s asthma was more likely to happen at 2-day lag compared to the present day when PM2.5 increased from 36.17 μg/m3 to 81.26 μg/m3. Considering all lagged effects, the highest relative risk for children’s asthma was 1.08 (95% CI = 1.05, 1.11) as PM2.5 increased as high as 64.66 μg/m3. In addition, geographic disparities of children’s asthma were significant, and 47.83% of areas were identified to have children vulnerable to asthma. To sum up, our findings can serve as a valuable reference for the implementation of an early warning to governmental agencies about a susceptible population of children.
PM2.5; Children's asthma clinic visits; Nonlinear lagged effects; Spatial variation
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Lagged Influence of Fine Particulate Matter and Geographic Disparities on Clinic Visits for Children’s Asthma in Taiwan.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(4),