Master's Culminating Experience
Objective: A secular trend towards increased current and lifetime asthma prevalence has been observed in the US. The current study compared ambient Air Quality Index (AQI) data and asthma prevalence data from all fifty US states.
Methods: Air pollution is measured as AQI by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). County level AQI data are available at the EPA website. Asthma prevalence data for each state are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Data from 50 US states (2011-2013) were analyzed for AQI and asthma prevalence. The average of proportions for all counties in each state was used to obtain a mean value for good air quality days (“Good Days”) in each year. An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was conducted to evaluate if 1) asthma prevalence and 2) AQI differences across 2011, 2012 and 2013. A regression analysis was conducted to assess the association between AQI and asthma prevalence.
Results: The analysis showed a reduction in air pollution from 2011 to 2013. The ANOVA revealed that this decrease in AQI was significant, F (2, 147) = 5.7678, p = 0.0039. While an increase in asthma prevalence was observed from 2011 to 2013,the ANOVA revealed that the increased asthma prevalence was not significant, F (2, 147) = 0.2794, p = 0.7566. Regression analysis showed no significant association between AQI and asthma prevalence (p>0.05).
Conclusion: US Asthma prevalence did not change significantly despite significant AQI reduction from 2011 to 2013; AQI was not related to asthma prevalence.
Nagar, G. A. (2016). Is the Breeze Making you Wheeze? Air Quality and Asthma in the US. Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.