This time-stratified case-crossover study aims to quantify the risk of allergic conjunctivitis (AC) associated with short-term exposure to PMs (i.e., PM, PM, PM, and PM) among children in Guangzhou, China. We collected data on children’s daily AC outpatient visits from the Guangzhou Women and Children Medical Center during February 20, 2016 to December 31, 2018, and also extracted air pollution and meteorological data in the same time frame. We used conditional logistic regression model to estimate the associations between PMs and AC outpatient visits, and conducted subgroup analyses stratified by sex, age, and season. During the study period, we recorded 39,330 children’s outpatient visits for AC, including 27,638 boys and 11,692 girls. The associations between PMs and AC were general linear with no clear threshold, which were largest at the current days but remained positive for lag 1 to 3 days. For every 10 μg/m increase in daily PM, PM, PM, and PM concentrations, the estimated risks of AC outpatient visits at the current days increased by 2.5% (OR = 1.025, 95% CI: 1.011-1.039), 1.8% (OR = 1.018, 95% CI: 1.009-1.027), 2.1% (OR = 1.021, 95% CI: 1.004-1.039), and 1.3% (OR = 1.013, 95% CI: 1.007-1.020), respectively. In addition, our stratified analyses revealed that girls and children aged 1 to 6 years were more sensitive to PM exposure, and the PM-associated risks for AC were more apparent in autumn and winter. Our study suggests that short-term exposure to PMs may induce AC in children.
© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.