Evaluating spatial patterns of seasonal ozone exposure and incidence of respiratory emergency room visits in Dallas-Fort Worth

Kari Northeim, Constant Marks, Chetan Tiwari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: In urban environments, environmental air pollution poses significant risks to respiratory health. Moreover, the seasonal spatial variability of the air pollutant ozone, and respiratory illness within Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) is not well understood. We examine the relationships between spatial patterns of long-term ozone exposure and respiratory illness to better understand impacts on health outcomes. We propose that this study will establish an enhanced understanding of the spatio-temporal characteristics of ozone concentrations and respiratory emergency room visits (ERV) incidence. Methods: Air pollution data (ozone) and ERV incidence data from DFW was used to evaluate the relationships between exposures and outcomes using three steps: (1) develop a geostatistical model to produce quarterly maps of ozone exposure for the DFW area; (2) use spatial analysis techniques to identify clusters of zip codes with high or low values of ozone exposure and respiratory ERV incidence; and (3) use concentration-response curves to evaluate the relationships between respiratory ERV incidence and ozone exposure. Results: Respiratory ERV incidence was highest in quarters 1 and 4, while ozone exposure was highest in quarters 2 and 3. Extensive statistically significant spatial clusters of ozone regions were identified. Although the maps revealed that there was no regional association between the spatial patterns of high respiratory ERV incidence and ozone exposure, the concentration-response analysis suggests that lower levels of ozone exposure may still contribute to adverse respiratory outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere11066
JournalPeerJ
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Air pollution
  • Dallas-Fort Worth
  • Emergency room visits
  • Environmental impacts
  • Ozone
  • Respiratory health
  • Spatial interpolation
  • Urban pollution

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