Hospital admissions in Iran for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases attributed to the Middle Eastern Dust storms

Yuef Omidi Khaniabadi, Roberto Fanelli, Alessandra De Marco, Seyed Mohammad Daryanoosh, Itai Kloog, Philip K. Hopke, Gea Oliveri Conti, Margherita Ferrante, Mohammad Javad Mohammadi, Ali Akbar Babaei, Hassan Basiri, Gholamreza Goudarzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The main objective of this study was to assess the possible effects of airborne particulate matter less than 10 μm in diameter (PM10) from the Middle Eastern Dust (MED) events on human health in Khorramabad (Iran) in terms of estimated hospital admissions (morbidity) for cardiovascular diseases (HACD) and for respiratory diseases (HARD) during the period of 2015 to 2016. The AirQ program developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) was used to estimate the potential health impacts to daily PM10 exposures. The numbers of excess cases for cardiovascular/respiratory morbidity were 20/51, 72/185, and 20/53 on normal, dusty, and MED event days, respectively. The highest number of hospital admissions was estimated for PM10 concentrations in the range of 40 to 49 μg/m3, i.e, lower than the daily (50 μg/m3) limit value established by WHO. The results also showed that 4.7% (95% CI 3.2–6.7%) and 4.2% (95% CI 2.6–5.8%) of HARD and HACD, respectively, were attributed to PM10 concentrations above 10 μg/m3. The study demonstrates a significant impact of air pollution on people, which is manifested primarily as respiratory and cardiovascular problems. To reduce these effects, several immediate actions should be taken by the local authorities to control the impacts of dust storms on residents’ health, e.g., developing a green beltway along the Iran-Iraq border and management of water such as irrigation of dry areas that would be effective as mitigation strategies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)16860-16868
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number20
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • AirQ model
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Dust storm
  • Iran
  • Respiratory disease

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Chemistry


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