Combined Impacts of Urban Pollution and Wildland Fire Emissions on Human Health
In this context, the differences in hospital admissions in Houston, TX during wildland fire events are examined. The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (H*CUP) Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database is being utilized for this purpose. Occurrence of smoke in the study region is determined through the use of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hazard Mapping System (HMS). Inpatient admission statistics from H*CUP are categorized based on the International Classification of Diseases-9th Revision (ICD-9) for asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, and other respiratory diseases such as pneumonia that are present as a primary or secondary diagnosis. The following analysis based on this dataset will be presented. Based on the diagnoses categorization, counts of inpatient admissions for similar diagnoses are compared for a two-week period before and after the time of the wildland fire event. Because weekday and weekend admission rates can differ, pre-fire weekday and weekend admissions are also be compared. Differences in lengths of stay for the disorders, including both pre- and post-fire periods, are also calculated.