This paper studied the effect of air pollution on the number of hospital visits made by children of different gender and age due to respiratory diseases in Lanzhou, as well as its seasonal variation. By collecting data on the concentration of air pollutants, i.e., PM2.5, PM10, SO2, NO2, CO, and O3 8h, as well as the corresponding meteorological data and the outpatient data of visits made by children due to respiratory diseases at 3first-class grade three hospitals in Lanzhou between 2013 to 2017, the relationship between air pollutant concentration and daily outpatient visits made by children due to respiratory diseases and its lagging effect were analyzed using generalized additive model (GAM) to constrain the day of week effect, meteorological factors, holiday effect, and other confounding factors. During the research period, the average daily outpatient visits made by children due to respiratory diseases at 3first-class grade-three hospitals in Lanzhou was 387 person-times, ranging from 1 to 1413 person-times. According to the results of the single-pollutant model, the effects of PM2.5, NO2, SO2, and CO all peaked on lag01; for every 10μg/m3 (1mg/m3 for CO) increase in their concentration, the excess risk (ER) and 95% confidence interval (95%CI) of visits of children for respiratory diseases were 0.245% (95%CI:0.127%~0.363%), 0.568% (95%CI:0.327%~0.808%), 1.661% (95%CI:1.022%~2.302%), and 2.245% (95%CI:1.610%~2.883%) respectively. The effects of PM10 and O3 8h had no statistical significance across the lag phase. Analysis of different gender, age, and season indicated that, PM2.5 has a slightly stronger effect on girls than on boys, whereas the reverse applied in terms of the effects of NO2, SO2, and CO; PM2.5, NO2, and CO affected children aged 6~14more significantly than those aged 0~5, and the reverse was true for the effect of SO2; the effects of PM2.5, NO2, SO2, and CO on outpatient visits were only significant in winter, and the effects of PM10 and O3 8h were insignificant in all seasons. According to the results of the two-pollutant model, after adjusting 5 other types of pollutants respectively, PM10 and O3 8h had no significant effect on the increase in outpatient visits of children for respiratory diseases; after adjusting PM10 and O3 8h, all other pollutants had a significant effect on the increase in outpatient visits for respiratory diseases. Hence, it can be concluded that air pollutants (PM2.5, NO2, SO2, and CO) in Lanzhou share a close relationship with the number of outpatient visits due to respiratory diseases, and that increments in SO2 and CO concentrations are more likely to increase the risk of respiratory diseases in children. Moreover, gender, age, and season can influence the relationship between air pollutants and the number of outpatient visits due to respiratory diseases.
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