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Title: Respiratory and allergic health effects in a young population in proximity of a major industrial park in Oman
Authors: Al Wahaibi, A
Zeka, A
Keywords: Sohar Industrial Zone (SIZ);Young population;Retrospective health care
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
Citation: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. (in press), 2015
Abstract: Background: The Sohar Industrial Zone (SIZ), Oman, which started operating in 2006, contains many industries that potentially affect health of the local population. The aim of this study was to evaluate the health effects in a young population living near SIZ. Methods: Retrospective health care visits for acute respiratory diseases (ARD), asthma, conjunctivitis and dermatitis for children of ages <20 year old were obtained between 2006 and 2010 for two large provinces around SIZ. Three exposure zones were defined based on the distance from SIZ determined as: ≤5, >5-10, ≥20 km to represent high, intermediate and control exposure zones respectively. Age and gender-specific monthly counts of visits of the selected diseases were modeled using generalized additive models controlling for time trends. The high and intermediate exposure zones were later combined together due to similarity of associations. Exposure effect modification by age, gender and socioeconomic status (SES) was also tested. Results: Living within 10 km from SIZ showed greater association with ARD (RR: 2.5; 95% CI: 2.3-2.7)), asthma (RR: 3.7; 95% CI: 3.1-4.5), conjunctivitis (RR: 3.1; 95% CI: 2.9-3.5), and dermatitis (RR: 2.7; 95% CI: 2.5-3.0) when compared to the control zone. No differences in associations were found for gender and SES groups; greater effects were noticed in the ≤14 years old group for asthma. Conclusion: This is the first study conducted in Oman examining the health effects of a young population living in proximity of an industrial park. We hope that these findings will contribute in future developments of environmental and public health policies in Oman.
ISSN: 1470-2738
Appears in Collections:Institute for the Environment

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