Spatiotemporal Analysis of PM2.5 Concentrations on the Incidence of Childhood Asthma in Developing Countries: Case Study of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia



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Aldegunde, José Antonio Álvarez and Fernández Sánchez, Adrián and Saba, Manuel and Bolaños, Edgar Quiñones and Caraballo, Luis R. (2022) Spatiotemporal Analysis of PM2.5 Concentrations on the Incidence of Childhood Asthma in Developing Countries: Case Study of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Atmosphere, 13 (9). p. 1383. ISSN 2073-4433

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The increase in airborne pollution in large cities since the mid-20th century has had a physiologically proven impact on respiratory health, resulting in the irritation and corrosion of the alveolar wall. One of the demographics of the population most affected by this problem is children.
This study focuses on the relationship between particulate matter of 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and childhood asthma, which is one of the main respiratory diseases identified in developing countries. The city of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, is taken as a case study. A relevant correlation between childhood asthma and PM2.5 is found. Incidence series of paediatric asthma on a monthly scale and PM2.5 records in the city of Cartagena are considered. As is common in developing countries, the series was incomplete due to a lack of experts and insufficient economical resources. Therefore, several statistical and analytical processes were applied to provide sufficient quality to the series. An improvement of the time scale of the records was carried out, as well as the completion (statistical imputation) of missing data due to low statistical significance, by applying Rstudio®, PAST® and SPSS®. The last phases consisted of the determination of the main factors that cause childhood asthma incidence, the estimation of the correlation between asthma incidence and PM2.5, as well as the estimation of health impact. A reduction in PM2.5 concentration was simulated using BenMap-CE software to reach safe levels according to the WHO guidelines on air quality to identify preventable cases of childhood asthma, as air pollution has been found to be related to this disease. In addition, a log-linear model was applied to determine the number of hospital visits avoided after reducing the levels of PM2.5 concentration to the maximum levels recommended by WHO. The results showed a good agreement between childhood asthma incidence and PM2.5 pollutants in the spectral analysis (75% coincidence) and Chi2 (85.5% of coincidence) assessments, while visual correlation, mean and linear regression showed lower relations (61.0%, 55.5% and 0.48%, respectively). A reduction to a safe level of 5 μg/m3 would lead to a reduction of 240 annual cases of childhood asthma (95% CI: 137–330).

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:PM2.5 impact on human health; environmental statistics; software programming; child-hood asthma risks
Subjects:Humanities > Geography > Physical geography
Humanities > Geography > Human geography
ID Code:77517
Deposited On:17 Apr 2023 14:46
Last Modified:17 Apr 2023 14:46

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