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Makra L.,University of Szeged | Puskas J.,University of West Hungary | Matyasovszky I.,Eötvös Loránd University | Csepe Z.,University of Szeged | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Biometeorology | Year: 2015

Weather classification approaches may be useful tools in modelling the occurrence of respiratory diseases. The aim of the study is to compare the performance of an objectively defined weather classification and the Spatial Synoptic Classification (SSC) in classifying emergency department (ED) visits for acute asthma depending from weather, air pollutants, and airborne pollen variables for Szeged, Hungary, for the 9-year period 1999–2007. The research is performed for three different pollen-related periods of the year and the annual data set. According to age and gender, nine patient categories, eight meteorological variables, seven chemical air pollutants, and two pollen categories were used. In general, partly dry and cold air and partly warm and humid air aggravate substantially the symptoms of asthmatics. Our major findings are consistent with this establishment. Namely, for the objectively defined weather types favourable conditions for asthma ER visits occur when an anticyclonic ridge weather situation happens with near extreme temperature and humidity parameters. Accordingly, the SSC weather types facilitate aggravating asthmatic conditions if warm or cool weather occur with high humidity in both cases. Favourable conditions for asthma attacks are confirmed in the extreme seasons when atmospheric stability contributes to enrichment of air pollutants. The total efficiency of the two classification approaches is similar in spite of the fact that the methodology for derivation of the individual types within the two classification approaches is completely different. © 2014, ISB.


Makra L.,University of Szeged | Matyasovszky I.,Eötvös Loránd University | Balint B.,Hospital of Chest Diseases
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2012

Joint effect of biological (pollen) and chemical air pollutants on asthma emergency room (ER) visits was analyzed for Szeged region of Southern Hungary. Our database of a nine-year period (1999-2007) includes daily number of asthma emergency room (ER) visits, and daily mean concentrations of CO, PM10, NO, NO2, O3 and SO2, furthermore two pollen variables (Ambrosia and total pollen excluding Ambrosia), as well. The analysis was performed for ER visits of asthma bronchiale using two age groups (adults and the elderly) of males and females for three seasons. Factor analysis was performed in order to clarify the relative importance of the pollutant variables affecting asthma ER visits. Asthma ER visits denote notably stronger associations with the pollutants in adult male than in adult female patients both for the pollen season of Ambrosia and the pollen-free season. Furthermore, adults are substantially more sensitive to severe asthma attack than the elderly for the season of total pollen excluding Ambrosia pollen. The joint effect of the chemical and pollen variables is the highest for the asthma ER cases in the pollen season of Ambrosia, basically due to the extra impact of the total pollen excluding Ambrosia pollen and partly due to Ambrosia pollen. A nonparametric regression technique was applied to discriminate between events of ER visit-no ER visit using pollen and chemical pollutants as explaining variables. Based on multiple correlations, the strongest relationships between ER visits and pollutants are observed during the pollen-free season. The elderly group with asthma bronchiale is characterized by weaker relationships between ER visits and pollutants compared to adults. Ratio of the number of correct decisions on the events of ER visit-no ER visit is lowest for the season of total pollen excluding Ambrosia pollen. Otherwise, similar conclusions hold as those received by multiple correlations. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Makra L.,University of Szeged | Matyasovszky I.,Eötvös Loránd University | Balint B.,Hospital of Chest Diseases | Csepe Z.,University of Szeged
International Journal of Biometeorology | Year: 2014

The effect of biological (pollen) and chemical air pollutants on respiratory hospital admissions for the Szeged region in Southern Hungary is analysed. A 9-year (1999-2007) database includes-besides daily number of respiratory hospital admissions-daily mean concentrations of CO, PM10, NO, NO2, O3 and SO2. Two pollen variables (Ambrosia and total pollen excluding Ambrosia) are also included. The analysis was performed for patients with chronic respiratory complaints (allergic rhinitis or asthma bronchiale) for two age categories (adults and the elderly) of males and females. Factor analysis was performed to clarify the relative importance of the pollutant variables affecting respiratory complaints. Using selected low and high quantiles corresponding to probability distributions of respiratory hospital admissions, averages of two data sets of each air pollutant variable were evaluated. Elements of these data sets were chosen according to whether actual daily patient numbers were below or above their quantile value. A nonparametric regression technique was applied to discriminate between extreme and non-extreme numbers of respiratory admissions using pollen and chemical pollutants as explanatory variables. The strongest correlations between extreme patient numbers and pollutants can be observed during the pollen season of Ambrosia, while the pollen-free period exhibits the weakest relationships. The elderly group with asthma bronchiale is characterised by lower correlations between extreme patient numbers and pollutants compared to adults and allergic rhinitis, respectively. The ratio of the number of correct decisions on the exceedance of a quantile resulted in similar conclusions as those obtained by using multiple correlations. © 2013 ISB.

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