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Title: Health impacts from living near a major industrial park in Oman
Authors: Al-Wahaibi, A
Zeka, A
Keywords: Environmental exposure [N06.850.460.350];Primary health care [N04.590.233.727];Respiratory tract infections [C08.730];Hypersensitivity [C20.543]
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: BMC Public Health, 15: 524, (2015)
Abstract: Background: Oman is heading towards heavy industrialisation with rapid establishment of new industrial parks. One of these, the Sohar Industrial Zone (SIZ) started to operate in 2006 and includes many industries that potentially affect local air quality and the health status of its surrounding residents. The study aim was to assess the health effects in a population of ≥20 years old, living in the residential area around the SIZ. Methods: Area-specific health care visits data for acute respiratory diseases (ARD), asthma, conjunctivitis and dermatitis were obtained for the period between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2010. Exposure was defined as distance from the SIZ to determine high, intermediate, and control exposure zones (≤5, >5-10, and ≥20 km from the SIZ respectively). Generalized additive models were used to model age and gender adjusted monthly health events for the selected diseases, adjusted for age and gender-specific population smoking prevalence. The high and intermediate exposure zones were later combined in the models because of their similarity of effects. Exposure effect modification by age, gender and socio-economic status (SES) were examined. Results: Living within the high and intermediate exposure zones was associated with a greater risk ratio for ARD (RR: 2.02; 95 % CI: 1.88-2.17), asthma (RR: 3.61; 95 % CI: 2.96-4.41), conjunctivitis (RR: 2.83; 95 % CI: 2.47-3.24), and dermatitis (RR: 2.11; 95 % CI: 1.86-2.39), compared to the control exposure zone. Greater exposure effects were observed amongst ages ≥50 years and lower SES groups. Conclusion: This is the first study carried out in Oman to assess the link between environmental exposure and health. These findings hope to contribute to building up evidence for environmental health and sustainable development policy in the country.
ISSN: 1471-2458
Appears in Collections:Institute for the Environment

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