Few studies have evaluated the association between ambient air pollution and hospital readmissions among children with asthma, especially in low-income communities. This study examined the short-term effects of ambient air pollutants on hospital readmissions for pediatric asthma in South Texas. A time-stratified case-crossover study was conducted using the hospitalization data from a children's hospital and the air pollution data, including particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) and ozone concentrations, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 2010 and 2014. A conditional logistic regression analysis was performed to investigate the association between ambient air pollution and hospital readmissions, controlling for outdoor temperature. We identified 111 pediatric asthma patients readmitted to the hospital between 2010 and 2014. The single-pollutant models showed that PM2.5 concentration had a significant positive effect on risk for hospital readmissions (OR = 1.082, 95% CI = 1.008-1.162, p = 0.030). In the two-pollutant models, the increased risk of pediatric readmissions for asthma was significantly associated with both elevated ozone (OR = 1.023, 95% CI = 1.001-1.045, p = 0.042) and PM2.5 concentrations (OR = 1.080, 95% CI = 1.005-1.161, p = 0.036). The effects of ambient air pollutants on hospital readmissions varied by age and season. Our findings suggest that short-term (4 days) exposure to air pollutants might increase the risk of preventable hospital readmissions for pediatric asthma patients.
- PM2.5Hospital ReadmissionsPediatric AsthmaAmbient Air PollutionPm25OzoneSouth TexasLow-income Communities