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Author Caamano-Isorna, Francisco ♦ Figueiras, Adolfo ♦ Sastre, Isabel ♦ Montes-Martínez, Agustín ♦ Piñeiro-Lamas, María ♦ Taracido, Margarita
Source Paperity
Content type Text
Publisher BioMed Central
File Format PDF ♦ HTM / HTML
Copyright Year ©2011
Abstract Background During the summer of 2006, a wave of wildfires struck Galicia (north-west Spain), giving rise to a disaster situation in which a great deal of the territory was destroyed. Unlike other occasions, the wildfires in this case also threatened farms, houses and even human lives, with the result that the perception of disaster and helplessness was the most acute experienced in recent years. This study sought to analyse the respiratory and mental health effects of the August-2006 fires, using consumption of anxiolytics-hypnotics and drugs for obstructive airway diseases as indicators. Methods We conducted an analytical, ecological geographical- and temporal-cluster study, using municipality-month as the study unit. The independent variable was exposure to wildfires in August 2006, with municipalities thus being classified into the following three categories: no exposure; medium exposure; and high exposure. Dependent variables were: (1) anxiolytics-hypnotics; and (2) drugs for obstructive airway diseases consumption. These variables were calculated for the two 12-month periods before and after August 2006. Additive models for time series were used for statistical analysis purposes. Results The results revealed a higher consumption of drugs for obstructive airway diseases among pensioners during the months following the wildfires, in municipalities affected versus those unaffected by fire. In terms of consumption of anxiolytics-hypnotics, the results showed a significant increase among men among men overall -pensioners and non-pensioners- in fire-affected municipalities. Conclusions Our study indicates that wildfires have a significant effect on population health. The coherence of these results suggests that drug utilisation research is a useful tool for studying morbidity associated with environmental incidents.
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2011-05-21
e-ISSN 1476069X
Journal Environmental Health
Issue Number 10