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Assessment of Effects of Air Pollution on Daily Outpatient Visits using the Air Quality Index

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      The air quality index (AQI) is widely used to characterize the quality of ambient air. Chinese cities officially report the AQI on a daily basis. To assess the possible effects of air pollution on daily outpatient visits, we examined the association between AQI and the daily outpatient count.


      Daily data on outpatient visits to each clinical department were collected from the Z county hospital of Datong City, China. The collection period was between 5 April and 30 June, 2012. Daily AQI data and meteorological information were simultaneously recorded. We compared outpatient counts between the index days and comparison days, and calculated Pearson’s product moment correlation coefficient between outpatient counts and AQI levels.


      The average AQI level for index days was significantly higher than that for comparison days. No significant difference was observed in temperature or relative humidity between index days and comparison days. The outpatient counts for pediatrics were significantly higher on index days than on comparison days, and no significant difference was noted in other clinical departments. The outpatient counts for pediatrics positively correlated with the AQI level, and no correlation was noted in other clinical departments.


      The present study assessed the association between daily outpatient visits and air pollution using AQI. The results obtained suggest that air pollution could increase the outpatient count for pediatrics.

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      Most cited references 15

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            Author and article information

            *Division of Health Administration and Promotion, Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, Tottori University Faculty of Medicine, Yonago 683-8504, Japan
            †Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Tottori University Faculty of Medicine, Yonago 683-8504, Japan
            ‡Cancer Center, Tottori University Hospital, Yonago 683-8504, Japan
            §Department of Nursing Care Environment and Mental Health, School of Health Science, Tottori University Faculty of Medicine, Yonago 683-8503, Japan
            Author notes
            Corresponding author: Haosheng Mu
            Yonago Acta Med
            Yonago Acta Med
            Yonago Acta Medica
            Tottori University Faculty of Medicine
            26 December 2014
            December 2014
            : 57
            : 4
            : 133-136
            4404523 yam-57-133
            2014 Yonago Acta medica
            Original Article
            Custom metadata
            AQI, air quality index


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