Lag Ba-Omer Bonfires - Is there any association between the tradition and asthma and COPD exacerbations

Roberto Ainbinder, Shlomo Vinker, Sasson Nakar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Air pollution is a potential cause of asthma and COPD exacerbations. On the evening of Lag Ba-Omer, when there were bonfire parties throughout the country, significant air pollution was reported. Objectives: To evaluate the association of the air pollution caused by Lag Ba-Omer bonfires party (8th May 2004) and asthma and COPD exacerbations in the Rehovot area. Methods: Data on air quality and pollution levels was retrieved from the monitoring system of the Ministry of the Environment for the period of Lag Ba-Omer (May 2004). All visits to the Kaplan Medical Center Emergency Department, local after-hours first aid clinics and hospital admissions in May 2004 were evaluated. The daily rate of visits and admissions with the diagnosis of asthma or COPD exacerbation was recorded. Results: Data from the Rehovot monitoring station revealed worsening in the air pollution indices in the two days after Lag Ba-Omer. On the same days of the week, a week earlier and a week later, the air quality was good. There was no increase in asthma or COPD visits to after-hours first aid clinics and no increase in hospitalizations. An increase in the rate of visits due to asthma and COPD to the emergency department was noted in the days after Lag Ba-Omer in comparison to the control days (15/277 (5.4%) vs. 14/593 (2.4%), p<0.05). Conclusion: There was an increase in emergency department visits due to asthma and COPD without an increase in hospital admissions in the days of air pollution after Lag Ba-Omer. Further studies should focus on a possible increase in self medication and family physician visits in the period around Lag Ba-Omer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-388
Number of pages3
JournalHarefuah
Volume144
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Air pollution
  • Asthma
  • Bonfire
  • COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Exacerbation

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