Association between ambient ozone and health outcomes in Prague
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- Hůnová, I., Malý, M., Řezáčová, J. et al. Int Arch Occup Environ Health (2013) 86: 89. doi:10.1007/s00420-012-0751-y
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Though numerous studies investigating ambient ozone (O3) effects on human health were published, such a study for Central Europe is still lacking. We have investigated the association between ozone (O3) levels and hospital admissions and mortality due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases for Prague inhabitants for summer months (April–September) over the 5-year period 2002–2006. Our hypothesis was that ambient O3 levels in Prague resulted in adverse health outcomes and were associated with increased mortality and hospital admissions.
The effect of O3 on mortality and hospital admissions was investigated using the negative binomial regression after controlling for the influence of meteorological factors (air temperature and relative humidity) and calendar effects (seasonal patterns, long-term trends and day of week).
We found a statistically significant association between O3 levels and daily mortality from respiratory diseases. Relative risk of 1.080 (95% CI: 1.031–1.132) was observed for mortality from respiratory diseases per 10 μg m−3 increase in 1-day lagged daily mean O3 concentration. No statistically significant association was detected between O3 concentrations and daily mortality from all causes, daily mortality from cardiovascular diseases and hospital admissions for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The O3 effects differed in men and women, nevertheless, the results were ambiguous with respect to used lag and O3 metrics. No significant confounding effects of PM10 on the investigated association were observed.
O3 exposure in Prague, though lower as compared to many other cities in Europe, is high enough to cause adverse health effects.