Epidemic asthma occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the 1950s and 1960s, but its causes were never fully understood.
Subsequently, similar outbreaks of epidemic asthma in Barcelona, Spain, were shown to be caused by the release of soy dust at the harbor.
To investigate whether airborne soy dust may have contributed to epidemic asthma in New Orleans, the authors examined historical data on vessel cargo from the New Orleans harbor together with data on emergency department visits for asthma, for the period from 1957 through 1968.
Days on which there were 64 or more visits for asthma were twice as likely to have occurred on days when a vessel carrying soy was at the harbor (odds ratio (OR)=2.3,95% confidence interval (Cl) 1.5-3.3).
The association was stronger when the maximum wind speed was less than 12 miles/hour (19.3 km/hour) (OR=4.0,95% Cl 2.1-7.7) and strongest when wind speeds were low and the prevailing winds were from the south or southwest, the direction of two grain elevators from the hospital (OR=6.7,95% Cl 1.5-46.7).
Various temporal and climatic factors that had been associated with the occurrence of asthma outbreaks did not appear to be important confounding factors.
The association was specific to soy cargo ; no association was observed between asthma-epidemic days and the presence of either wheat or corn in vessels at the harbor. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Asthme, Pollution, Air, Santé et environnement, Polluant, Soja, Allergène, Epidémiologie, Facteur risque, Incidence, Homme, Etats Unis, Amérique du Nord, Amérique, Appareil respiratoire pathologie, Bronchopneumopathie obstructive
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Asthma, Pollution, Air, Health and environment, Pollutant, Soybean, Allergen, Epidemiology, Risk factor, Incidence, Human, United States, North America, America, Respiratory disease, Obstructive pulmonary disease
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 97-0205715
Code Inist : 002B11B. Création : 21/05/1997.