Respiratory Medicine

  • In a project led by Maayan Yitshak-Sade (Yitshak-Sade et al, 2015) our team analyzed the association between dust storms frequent in the Negev area and asthma manifestations in children. We identified the asthma attacks by hospitalizations (indicating severe cases) and asthma medication purchases (as a proxy for mild morbidity). During the period of 2005-2011 there were 289 dust storms in the area

  • In another project  by Maayan Yitshak-Sade (Yitshak-Sade et al, 2017) we investigated the association between ambient pollutants and hospitalizations due to bronchiolitis, a common lower respiratory infection in children. All hospitalizations in Soroka hospital between 2003-2013 among infants younger than 2 years were included in the analysis. High levels of particulate matter were adversely  associated with bronchiolitis. The stronger links were found among Bedouin-Arabs, which may be related to poor household conditions and living in temporary tents or shacks, resulting in higher pollution exposure. We observed an increased asthma medication purchases within 3 days following mild dust storms. The link with hospitalizations was also detected, and was especially pronounced among the rural Bedouin-Arab population.

  • Alina Vodonos and her team (Vodonos et al, 2016) investigated dust exposure and 5611 hospitalizations due to pneumonia in adults that occurred in our hospital between 2003-2013. Thirty-six (36)% of the study days the levels of  particulate matter of aerodynamic diameter < 10 μm (PM10) exceeded the WHO-recommended daily guideline of 50 μg·m−3. The association between PM10 was observed within 5 days after the exposure, particularly for older patients or patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease.