Objective Asian dust storms (ADS) are long-ranged meteorological phenomena, which are suggested to be associated with several health problems. This study aimed to investigate the risk of stroke hospitalisation following ADS events by conducting a population-based study.
Study design and setting The authors identified 810 947 hospitalisations with an admission diagnosis of stroke during the time period between 2000 and 2009 in Taiwan. The ARIMA method (Auto-Regressive Integrated Moving Average) was used to examine the associations between ADS episodes and the daily number of stroke hospitalisations.
Results There were 46 separate ADS episodes which resulted in a total of 135 ADS days between 2000 and 2009. The Kruskal–Wallis test revealed that there was a significant difference in the mean number of daily stroke admissions among ADS days (239.6), post-ADS days (249.2) and non-ADS days (219.7) (p<0.001). After adjusting for the time-trend effect, ambient temperature, season, SO2 and CO, the authors found post-ADS days 1 and 2 to have a significantly higher number of stroke admission than non-ADS days. Post-ADS days 1 and 2 had significantly higher numbers of ischaemic but not haemorrhagic stroke admissions.
Conclusion The authors conclude that ADS events are associated with an acute increase in stroke admission rates.
- Asian dust strom
- access to health care
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Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.