Observational Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2020. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Oct 21, 2020; 26(39): 6074-6086
Published online Oct 21, 2020. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v26.i39.6074
Relationship of meteorological factors and air pollutants with medical care utilization for gastroesophageal reflux disease in urban area
Ho Seok Seo, Jinwook Hong, Jaehun Jung
Ho Seok Seo, Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 06591, South Korea
Jinwook Hong, Jaehun Jung, Artificial Intelligence and Big-Data Convergence Center, Gil Medical Center, Gachon University College of Medicine and Science, Incheon 21565, South Korea
Jaehun Jung, Department of Preventive Medicine, Gachon University College of Medicine, Incheon 21565, South Korea
Author contributions: Jung J designed the study and participated in the data acquisition; Hong J did data analysis and interpretation; Seo HS drafted the manuscript; all approved final manuscript.
Supported by Gachon University Gil Medical Center, No. FRD2018-17 and No. FRD2019-11.
Institutional review board statement: This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Gachon University Gil Medical Center, which waived the need for informed consent, No. GCIRB2019-039.
Informed consent statement: Owing to the retrospective nature of this study, patients and the public were not involved in the study design, data collection, analysis, or interpretation of data.
Conflict-of-interest statement: Authors have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.
Data sharing statement: The datasets generated for and/or analyzed in the current study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
STROBE statement: The authors have read the STROBE Statement-checklist of items, and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the STROBE Statement-checklist of items.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/Licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Jaehun Jung, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, Gachon University College of Medicine, 38-13, Dokjeom-ro, Incheon 21565, South Korea. eastside1st@gmail.com
Received: July 19, 2020
Peer-review started: July 19, 2020
First decision: August 8, 2020
Revised: August 19, 2020
Accepted: September 16, 2020
Article in press: September 16, 2020
Published online: October 21, 2020
Research background

The incidence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is rapidly increasing owing to changes in people’s lifestyle and eating habits. It is essential to perform the analyses after considering correlations among meteorological factors and air pollutants (MFAPs).

Research motivation

To date, only one study investigated the relationship between humidity and monthly GERD occurrence. However, it was limited by the exclusive inclusion of patients in study population.

Research objectives

This work aims to identify MFAPs effect on GERD-related medical utilization.

Research methods

Data on GERD-related medical utilizations were obtained from the National Health Insurance Services. Data on meteorological factors were obtained from the National Climate Data Center of the Korea Meteorological Administration. A Granger causality test was performed to identify the MFAPs showing the strongest correlation with the daily number of GERD-related medical utilizations for GERD and to identify causality between the two time-series variables.

Research results

GERD-related medical utilization increased with the levels of particulate matter with a diameter ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and carbon monoxide (CO). S-shaped and inverted U-shaped changes were observed in average temperature and air pollutants, respectively. The time lag of each variable was significant around nine days after exposure.

Research conclusions

Current study suggests that a model using average temperature, sunshine duration, wind speed, PM2.5, and CO has significant power for the prediction of GERD-related medical utilizations.

Research perspectives

To reduce GERD occurrence and aggravation, environmental management and national alarm systems for each factor should be established.