Relationship between air pollution and outpatient visits for nonspecific conjunctivitis in Taiwan
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Department of Health Care Administration, Oriental Institute of Technology, Taiwan
Online publication date: 2019-07-16
Publication date: 2019-07-16
Electron J Gen Med 2019;16(4):em144
As a directly exposed part of the human body, the eyes are susceptible to external stimulations of air pollution. The ill effects of air pollution on human eyes are mostly irritation and inflammation, with conjunctivitis being a significant problem.

This study investigates the impact of air pollution on nonspecific conjunctivitis based on the data from ophthalmologic outpatient visits. The research focuses on the significance of air pollution’s impact on ocular health. Data for ophthalmology outpatient visits were obtained from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan. Ambient air monitoring data were obtained from the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration air pollution monitoring stations. Six regulated air pollutants were included in the studies. This study used symbolic data analysis to investigate the association between daily air pollutant concentrations and the number of outpatient visits for nonspecific conjunctivitis as well as the relationship between climate factors and air pollutants.

O3 (t-value=2.292, p-value=0.025) is positively correlated with nonspecific conjunctivitis cases; this result is the same as plot (d) in Figure 3. The relationship between nonspecific conjunctivitis cases and CO (t-value=-1.183, p-value=0.240) / NO2 (t-value=0.653, p-value=0.516) / NO2 (t-value=0.653, p-value=0.516) / SO2 (t-value=-0.942, p-value=0.349) is not statistically significant.

The result of this study shows that the air pollutant, O3 is significantly related to nonspecific conjunctivitis. The air pollutant, O3 can increase chances of outpatient visits, suggesting that is a possible cause for nonspecific conjunctivitis.

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