Ambient wood smoke, traffic pollution and adult asthma prevalence and severity

Bui, D. Son, Burgess, John A., Matheson, Melanie C., Erbas, Bircan, Perret, Jennifer, Morrison, Stephen, Giles, Graham G., Hopper, John L., Thomas, Paul S., Markos, James, Abramson, Michael J., Walters, E. Haydn and Dharmage, Shyamali C. (2013) Ambient wood smoke, traffic pollution and adult asthma prevalence and severity. Respirology, 18 7: 1101-1107. doi:10.1111/resp.12108

Author Bui, D. Son
Burgess, John A.
Matheson, Melanie C.
Erbas, Bircan
Perret, Jennifer
Morrison, Stephen
Giles, Graham G.
Hopper, John L.
Thomas, Paul S.
Markos, James
Abramson, Michael J.
Walters, E. Haydn
Dharmage, Shyamali C.
Title Ambient wood smoke, traffic pollution and adult asthma prevalence and severity
Journal name Respirology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1323-7799
Publication date 2013-10-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/resp.12108
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 18
Issue 7
Start page 1101
End page 1107
Total pages 7
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background and objective
The impact of ambient wood smoke and traffic-related air pollution on adult asthma has not been well studied. This paper aims to investigate associations between exposure to ambient wood smoke, traffic-related air pollution and current asthma/asthma severity in middle age, and whether any associations are modified by atopic status.

Using data from the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study, associations between ambient wood smoke and two indices of traffic-related air pollution (frequency of heavy vehicles near the home and frequency of intense traffic noise) and current asthma/asthma severity were investigated. Unconditional logistic regression to examine current asthma and ordinal logistic regression to examine asthma severity was used.

For asthmatics, both exposure to ambient wood smoke (odds ratio 1.11; 95% confidence interval 1.02–1.20) and being frequently exposed to heavy vehicles (odds ratio 1.80; 95% confidence interval 1.09–2.96) were associated with increased asthma severity. Neither association varied by atopic status.


In middle-aged adults, ambient wood smoke and traffic pollution were associated with increased asthma severity. These findings suggest that avoiding or limiting exposure to traffic pollution and wood smoke may help to reduce asthma. Future studies to replicate this finding are recommended and should examine specific biological mechanisms for this effect.
Keyword Adult asthma
Ambient wood smoke
Atopic status
Traffic pollution
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
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