Asian dust and pediatric emergency department visits due to bronchial asthma and respiratory diseases in Nagasaki, Japan

Takahiro Nakamura, Masahiro Hashizume, Kayo Ueda, Atsushi Shimizu, Ayano Takeuchi, Tatsuhiko Kubo, Kunio Hashimoto, Hiroyuki Moriuchi, Hiroshi Odajima, Tasuku Kitajima, Kasumi Tashiro, Kunio Tomimasu, Yuji Nishiwaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The adverse health effects of Asian dust (AD) on the respiratory system of children are unclear. We hypothesized that AD events may lead to increased visits by children to emergency medical centers due to bronchial asthma and respiratory diseases, including bronchial asthma. Methods: We used anonymized data on children receiving primary emergency treatment at Nagasaki Municipal Primary Emergency Medical Center, Japan between March 2010 and September 2013. We used Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) data to assess AD exposure and performed time-stratified case-crossover analyses to examine the association between AD exposure and emergency department visits. The main analysis was done with data collected from March through May each year. Results: The total number of emergency department visits during the study period was 756 for bronchial asthma and 5421 for respiratory diseases, and the number of "AD days" was 47. In school children, AD events at lag day 3 and lag day 4 were associated with increased emergency department visits due to bronchial asthma, with odds ratios of 1.837 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.212-2.786) and 1.829 (95% CI, 1.179-2.806), respectively. AD events were significantly associated with respiratory diseases among preschool children at lag day 0, lag day 1, and lag day 2, with odds ratios of 1.244 (95% CI, 1.128-1.373), 1.314 (95% CI, 1.189-1.452), and 1.273 (95% CI, 1.152-1.408), respectively. These associations were also significant when the results were adjusted for meteorological variables and other air pollutants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-601
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of epidemiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Asian dust
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Children
  • Emergency department visits
  • Respiratory diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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