Relationship Between Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Air Pollutants Depending on the Origin and Trajectory of Air Masses in the North of Spain

Autores: Ana Santurtún | Domingo F. Rasilla | Leyre Riancho | María T. Zarrabeitia

Abstract: Objectives. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common respiratory condition and one of the leading causes of death. Our aim was to analyze the association between emergency room visits due to this disease and meteorological variables and atmospheric contaminant levels in Santander, depending on the origin and trajectory of air masses. Methods. Data from emergency room visits at Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla were collected on a daily basis during an 8-year period. Data on concentrations of the main atmospheric pollutants and meteorological variables were also recorded.Retrotrajectories leading to Santander at a height of1,500 meters above sea level were then calculated. Finally, a correlation model was produced to evaluate the effect of the contaminants on emergency visitsdue to COPD. Results. There is a direct association between PM 10 levels and the number of visits to the emergency room due to COPD. For every 10μg/m3 increase in pollutantlevels, emergency visitsincrease by3.34% (p=0.00005), and thiseffect is enhanced in individualsover 74 years of age. This effect is heightened when PM10 levels depend on air masses from the South and when air recirculation occurs. There is no association betweenother pollutants and the number of visits to the emergency room. Conclusions. Exposure to high levels of PM10 causes exacerbations in COPD patients. By studying the atmospheric circulation pattern, we can predict whether PM10 levels will be inappropriately high, and we can also obtain information about the particle components.


Título: Análisis de la relación entre la enfermedad pulmonar obstructiva crónica y los contaminantes atmosféricos atendiendo al origen y trayectoria de las masas de aire en el Norte de España