WIT Press

Investigation Of Asthmatic Disorders Using GIS Technology


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WIT Press


S. Jamaludin S.A, M. S. Zainol & Z. M. Saat


With environmental health moving into a critical stage in Malaysia, environmental management becomes more relevant and challenging, There is increasing evidence that exposure to air pollutants has adverse effects on public health, in particular on cardiac and respiratory disease. The increasing number of asthmatic and other respiratory cases has affected the health and quality of life of the population. With the belief that air pollution contributes to the rise in asthmatic and respiratory cases, there is a need to explore the relationship between air quality and respiratory disease. As yet, there is no known report of the use of a Geographical Information System (GIS) in epidemiological research in Malaysia. It is our belief that making spatial statistical techniques available for epidemiologists in GIS applications can assist epidemiological research. An attempt by the Ministry of Health, Malaysia to monitor the incidence of acute exacerbation of asthmatic cases in the year 2002 did not seem to give the required results. It did not provide an accurate picture of the effect of air pollution on public health. This paper describes an ongoing attempt at combining the use of GIS and statistical analysis in an epidemiological related research. The problems of increasing incidence of asthmatic problem and its relationship to environmental pollutants are being investigated. The task is also to investigate whether respiratory disease incidence increases, particularly when levels of specific air pollutants are elevated. Keywords: air pollutants, asthma, Geographical Information System, spatial statistical analysis.


air pollutants, asthma, Geographical Information System, spatial statistical analysis.