IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 12529: Has the Risk of Outpatient Visits for Allergic Rhinitis, Related to Short-Term Exposure to Air Pollution, Changed over the Past Years in Beijing, China? (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
A number of studies have found associations between the short-term exposure to ambient air pollution and hospital admissions. However, little is known about the temporal variations in ambient air pollution associated with health exposure, especially in China. We evaluated whether the risks of allergic rhinitis (AR) outpatient visits from short-term exposure to air pollution varied over time (2014–2020) in Beijing, China. A quasi-Poisson generalized additive model was used to evaluate the relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) associated with the pollutant concentrations during the entire study period and three specific periods. We also analyzed the temporal variations of the period-specific associations and tested the trend of change using the Mann–Kendall test. The concentration-response relationships for the specific periods were further investigated. The RRs (95%CI) for an interquartile range (IQR) increased in PM10 (70 μg/m3) and CO (0.5 mg/m3) decreased from period 1 to period 3. However, The RRs (95%CI) of PM2.5 (55 μg/m3), SO2 (7 μg/m3) and NO2 (27 μg/m3) increased from 1.015 (0.978, 1.054), 1.027 (1.009, 1.044) and 1.086 (1.037, 1.137) in period 1 to 1.069 (1.005, 1.135), 1.074 (1.003, 1.149) and 1.214 (1.149, 1.282) in period 3, respectively. A statistically significant temporal change and the stable effects were observed between the NO2 exposure and AR visits over time. Despite a substantial reduction in ambient air pollution, the short-term effects on AR outpatient visits remained significant. Our findings provide a rationale for continued air pollution control efforts in the future to minimize air pollution and to protect the public.