National Taipei University, Taiwan
Title: Women’s Health: Diabetes and Dust Storms
Biography: Tsai-Ching Liu
Due to the spread of dust storms, lots of attention has been paid to whether dust storms will affect health problems. Literatures have found that dust storms do lead to diseases such as asthma and pneumonia. However, research on the association between dust storms and diabetes is overlooked. This study is the first to explore the relationship between dust storms events and diabetes hospital admissions by applying time series models to Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Data during 2000-2009. The results show that a dust storm event leads to an increase in the number of diabetes hospital admissions, but the effect is delayed rather than immediate and is presented for women only. After controlling for daily temperature and air condition, season, and time trend, we find that dust storms event days do not result in a significantly higher number of diabetes hospital admissions. However, a significantly 14.2 more cases of diabetes admissions are exhibited on the first day after a dust storm event. When the data are further stratified by age, the same delayed effect is present in those aged 45-64 and over 74. The prevention and control of diabetes is important since diabetes is related to fatal diseases such as heart and kidney failure. Our study shows that although a dust storm event does not cause an immediate incidence of diabetes hospitalizations, it does induce diabetes hospitalizations for women through a delayed effect. Women with diabetes should be extremely careful and avoid outdoor activities after dust storms occur.