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Keywords:

  • circulation indexes;
  • diagnoses;
  • geopotential fields

Abstract

This paper provides a preliminary assessment of the relationship between atmospheric conditions and respiratory diseases based on the analysis of disease occurrence in patients during the period August 2004 to September 2007. To this effect, medical records from a medical services firm were examined, as well as temperature data (daily, maximum, minimum, dew point), pressure and relative humidity, measured at the meteorological station of Ezeiza (34.49°S, 58.32°W). The analysis revealed a strong seasonal relationship, with a peak in winter (low temperatures) and a minimum in summer. The annual cycle explains 76.24% of the total of the variance of the series. Most patients were below 10 years of age and older than 71. The best correlations were observed between daily values of the number of patients presenting with disease symptoms (N) and temperature, and between monthly values of N and maximum temperature (coefficients of − 0.73 and − 0.91, respectively). Multiple correlation between all meteorological variables obtained with the Stepwise method, made it possible to estimate the expected number of patients on daily and monthly scales. Mean geopotential height fields at 1000 hPa corresponding to days with the lowest number of patients have opposite synoptic characteristics to those of days with the largest number of patients. The same occurs with the fields corresponding to consecutive days with less than 40 patients per day and consecutive days with more than 300 patients per day. The fields corresponding to extremely high values show a positive pressure anomaly and consequent cold air advection over Buenos Aires and surrounding areas. Copyright © 2011 Royal Meteorological Society