Epidemiological studies have shown adverse effects of short-term exposure to air pollution on respiratory disease outcomes; however, few studies examined this association on an hourly time scale. We evaluated the associations between hourly changes in air pollution and the risk of respiratory disease in the elderly, using the time of the emergency call as the disease onset for each case.

Exposure to air pollution has been demonstrated to increase the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight (LBW). Although evidence has accumulated on characteristics associated with increased risk of air pollution-related health effects, most studies have been conducted in the adult population and evidence on reproductive outcomes is limited. We examined whether socio-economic position (SEP) and parental characteristics (parental behavior and co-morbidity) modified the relationship between air pollution and adverse birth outcomes.