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L Laroche, C Viboud, F Thomas, T Bury, S Scheer, C Allouch, O Touzeau, A Flahault, V Borderie, T Bourcier; Effects of Air Pollution on the Frequency of Ophthalmic Emergencies . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):342.
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Purpose: The aim of the study was to investigate short-term relationships between ophthalmologic emergency examinations and urban air pollution in Paris during a one year period. Methods: Ophthalmologic data collected were the daily number of examinations in the emergency department in Quinze-Vingts National Center of Ophthalmology, Paris, from January, 1st, 1999 to December 31st, 1999. One-tenth of the daily clinical ophthalmic diagnoses were randomly selected, computerized, and classified into 9 categories including conjunctivitis, keratitis and traumatisms.The pollutants measured in this study were provided by Paris air pollution network over the same period. We used daily concentrations of ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitrogen oxide (NO), particles with diameter close to 10 mm (PM10), and a global pollution indice index representative of the overall general exposure to air pollutants of people living in Paris. We used a logistic regression for analyzing air ophthalmic and air pollution data and modeled the daily ratio of diagnoses in a given category to the total number of diagnoses. Pollution covariates were selected by a stepwise procedure. We studied various lags for the pollution data to account for a potential delay between the exposure to pollutant and the effect on eye. Results: 30883 patients were examined during year 1999 and 3037 diagnosis were recorded in the randomization process. The relationship between conjunctivitis and air pollution was strong. A relative risk (RR) of 1.67 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.24-2.27] was observed for an increase from the 5th to the 95th percentile in daily concentration of O3 in the same day the examination occurs (p < 0.05). RR was 1.32 (95% CI = 1.02-1.70) for NO concentration 1 day before (p < 0.05). The correlation between other emergencies (i.e. traumatisms) and air pollutants was not significant. Conclusion: These results indicate a relationship between O3, NO air concentrations and conjunctivitis which may be a sensitive indicator for monitoring health effects related to pollution.
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