Pedro Francisco Duarte Franco, Master of Urban Planning, is a PhD student working jointly at the Institute of Geography and Territorial Planning, University of Lisbon. His research – funded by FCT – deals with the role of services of general interest in promoting a healthy life in the population of Alentejo, contributing to territorial cohesion in lagging territories. ORCID: 0000-0003-2753-0143
Exposure to pollutants and effects on emergency hospital admissions for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. An ecological analysis from Lisbon
Pedro Francisco Duarte Franco, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa
Cristina Gordo, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa
Eduarda Marques da Costa, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa
Ana Lopes, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) are important neurodegenerative disorders, being the first and second most common causes of dementia. These diseases are especially important in the ageing population context that prevails in high development countries and Europe in particular. It is known that exposure to particulate matter (PM) leads to the production and deposit of aggregate clusters of proteins, which are linked with neurological disorders and impediments. Nonetheless, few works study short-term exposure to PM and its association with hospitalizations/mortality.
Therefore, this study contributes to knowledge in this field, assessing the association between exposure to PM and emergency hospital admissions, using Lisbon city as case-study. The interest of Lisbon as case-study runs from the large importance of elderly in the population structure. Another important fact is linked to the old age of housing in central areas of the city, where pollution values due to traffic is also high. Due to data nature, and as it showed almost none overdispersion, Multivariable Poisson Regression models were used to evaluate the association between PM and admissions, while controlling for day of the week, seasonality and environmental factors.
The results showed that an increase in exposure to PM2.5 resulted in an augmented risk for admissions due to AD and PD. The risk was considerable higher in AD, especially for men, in the city departments, making evident the relation between pollution in Lisbon capital and long-term exposition represent by large incidence of ageing population living for a long in central residential areas. Although more studies will be needed to strengthen the results, a relation was found between short-term exposure to PM and AD and PD hospitalizations, make evident the urban planning role of controlling pollution on consolidated residential areas, preventing long-term effects.