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Lung India Official publication of Indian Chest Society  
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Year : 1984  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 110-131

Third Year Analyses On Regularly Followed Sample Of Bombay Air Pollution Study Population And Correlation With Other Factors

Correspondence Address:
S. R Kamat

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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From 3 year study on 4129 original survey subjects 2183 subjects were reassessed at 6th phase. The air pollutant profile was basically similar over 3 years but for 'urban medium' area where these declined a little. In 1960 regularly followed subjects, prevalence of dyspnoea, continued to be lowest; 4.3% in 'urban low' area, 8.3% in 'urban medium', 6.5% in 'urban high' and high (12.6%) in rural areas. The prevalences for chronic cough were 5.6%, 12.1 %, 11.6% and 15.8% respectively. The defaulting groups included more females from rural area, more from lower income families, more from those staying over 10 years in the locality, more smokers, more sedentary workers in nondusty occupations, more staying in temporary small housing, more of symptomatically abnormal urban and normal rural subjects. The prevalence of active tuberculosis was 0.2 to 0.4 percent in these 4 communities. In respective 4 communities, 7.5, 11.0, 6.3 and 2.4 percent were regularly taking medications. Generally in all areas abnormal chest symptoms were more frequent at ages above 45 years (29.3%), as against 14.1 % at age 10 to 19 years in 'urban high' group: P<0.05). In 'urban medium' and rural areas, those below 10 years also suffered oftener from frequent colds and cough. In 'urban medium' area, females had common colds oftener but in all urban areas males had cough and multiple symptoms oftener; in rural area females had oftener frequent colds and dyspnoea. All types of tobacco smoking was associated with significantly greater frequency of symptoms (as also in ex-smokers). While the smokers had more cough and dyspnoea, they had fewer common colds (r : 0.12 for 3 urban and 0.23 for rural subjects). Those working in dusty and manual jobs were more symptomatic (37% in 'urban high' 39% in 'urban medium' and 42% in rural communities as opposed to 17, 24 and 29 percent in respective 3 communities for sedentary nondusty workers); (P<0.01 for 'high' and rural 'areas). There was a weak relation with income, housing, fuel and no relation with sanitation. Those residing less than 5 years in a locality showed greater abnormalities in 'urban high' and rural areas (P<0.1). The 'urban high' female subjects showed lower function initially and 'urban low' children showed higher functions particularly in males below 10 years of age. At older ages, declines in 3 urban areas were larger (e.g. 87 to 176 ml in males and 45 to 205 ml in females of 'urban high' subjects). The rural subjects generally preserved functions better. All urban subjects showed expiratory obstruction (indicated by lower FEV1/FVC% values) oftener, particularly in 'high' area. The rate of increase in FVC or FEV1 in males (10-19 years age) was higher in 'urban low' area. Even normal urban adults showed a greater yearly decline in lung function than rural subjects. There was a strong correlation between SO2, SPM, NO2 and chest symptoms and a much weaker one with age, occupation, smoking and housing. Thus air pollution seems to be a major contributor to chest morbidity in Bombay.

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