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A comparative study of air pollution-related morbidity among exposed population of Delhi

Author(s): Sagar A | Bhattacharya M | Joon Vinod

Journal: Indian Journal of Community Medicine
ISSN 0970-0218

Volume: 32;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 268;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Air pollution | exposure | health effects | peak expiratory flow rate | vehicular emissions

Background: Vehicular pollution is increasing in Indian cities, which may lead to increased number of patients with diseases related to air pollution. Present study was undertaken to assess the pattern of morbidity in two areas of Delhi, one highly polluted area (HPA) and the other low polluted area (LPA). Materials and Methods: Subjects were interviewed regarding socioeconomic status and exposure history. Symptoms during the last month were recorded in a questionnaire and weight, height and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) were measured. Air pollution data were obtained from the monitoring stations of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Results: A total of 640 subjects participated in the study. Majority of the patients in both the areas were educated till primary but 24% in HPA and 13% in LPA were graduates. Current levels of all pollutants (except SO2 and NOx) were above the safety levels prescribed by CPCB in both the areas, but the values were much higher in HPA. The values of PEFR amongst study population were more compromised in HPA. The difference in mean PEFR values among the populations in LPA and HPA were found to be statistically significant (P < 0.05). The mean number of symptoms experienced by subjects of HPA was more as compared to LPA (P < 0.05). Frequency of occurrence of symptoms varied with duration of stay in the study area. Children were affected more than the adults. Conclusion: Air pollution has a deleterious effect on various systems of the body.
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