Table 2

Risk of respiratory symptoms (ECHRS) in a population exposed to the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption compared to a non-exposed population

Non-exposedExposed
% (n/N)% (n/N)OR (95% CI)*p Value
Wheezing (last 12 months)10.2 (51/498)15.9 (177/1110)1.8 (1.3 to 2.5)0.001
 If yes, breathlessness at the same time56.3 (27/48)57.0 (94/165)1.2 (0.6 to 2.4)0.56
 If yes, do you wheeze without a cold66.0 (31/47)70.7 (118/167)1.2 (0.6 to 2.5)0.59
Nocturnal chest tightness (last 12 months)6.6 (33/500)12.1 (135/1115)2.0 (1.3 to 3.0)0.003
Breathlessness at rest5.4 (27/500)7.7 (85/1103)1.4 (0.9 to 2.3)0.13
Coughing without a cold15.9 (80/502)28.2 (314/1114)2.2 (1.6 to 2.9)<0.001
Nocturnal cough (last 12 months)18.8 (95/504)23.2 (258/1110)1.3 (1.0 to 1.7)0.06
Morning winter cough11.6 (60/504)12.0 (133/1111)1.0 (0.7 to 1.4)0.99
Nocturnal or daytime winter cough9.2 (46/498)11.0 (121/1105)1.3 (0.9 to 1.8)0.23
 If yes, is it chronic†75.0 (30/40)67.2 (78/116)0.5 (0.2 to 1.4)0.19
Morning winter phlegm10.2 (51/500)14.4 (159/1104)1.5 (1.1 to 2.1)0.02
Nocturnal or daytime winter phlegm5.8 (29/497)8.1 (89/1097)1.5 (1.0 to 2.4)0.08
 If yes, is it chronic†96.4 (27/28)86.9 (73/84)0.3 (0.0 to 2.4)0.25
Dyspnoea7.8 (39/498)11.8 (131/1106)1.6 (1.1 to 2.3)0.02
Nasal allergy and hay fever19.1 (96/502)19.1 (213/1116)1.1 (0.8 to 1.4)0.73
Allergic rhinitis23.0 (115/501)29.5 (327/1109)1.4 (1.1 to 1.8)0.007
Physician diagnosed conditions‡
 Asthma14.3 (71/498)11.9 (132/1111)0.8 (0.6 to 1.1)0.17
 Asthma diagnosis was confirmed by an MD85.5 (59/69)95.9 (117/122)3.9 (1.2 to 12.5)0.03
 Heart disease6.2 (31/503)8.0 (89/1115)1.4 (0.9 to 2.2)0.15
 Chronic bronchitis4.2 (21/503)7.0 (78/1107)1.9 (1.1 to 3.1)0.02
 Emphysema2.0 (10/502)1.9 (21/1109)1.0 (0.5 to 2.3)0.96
 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)0.8 (4/500)1.3 (14/1105)1.7 (0.5 to 5.2)0.36
  • *OR and 95% CI from multivariate logistic regression adjusted for age Category, gender, education and smoking status.

  • †Chronic: more than 3 months/year.

  • ‡Answering ‘Yes’ to ‘Has a physician ever told that you had (the disease)?’.