Published online Oct 21, 2020. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v26.i39.6074
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
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).
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.
This work aims to identify MFAPs effect on GERD-related medical utilization.
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.
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.
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.
To reduce GERD occurrence and aggravation, environmental management and national alarm systems for each factor should be established.