Does smog affect the incidence of exacerbations of chronic laryngitis? Analysis based on the inhabitants of Lesser Poland Voivodeship.
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Introduction: Due to dynamic industrialisation smog became a frequent phenomenon in most developing cities. According to the last WHO report from Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database, Krakow has been classified in the 11th place among the most polluted cities in Europe. It seems to be an urgent issue because of the influence of air pollution on the condition of upper respiratory tract. Materials & Methods: In December 2015 there were 141 patients aged 17-91 years with upper respiratory tract diseases admitted to the phoniatric outpatient clinic in the University Hospital in Cracow. They suffered from cough, hoarseness and periodic aphonia. On the basis of the results of videolaryngostroboscopy 60 patients with exacerbation of the chronic laryngitis were selected into two numerically equal groups: from Cracow and from other places at least 60 km away. The groups were equal to each other also in three categories: sex, age and voice usage. The patients were referred to the Pedagogical University in Cracow for laryngography to evaluate the movement of the vocal folds and to trace a voice profile. Finally, there were two possible types of treatment – conventional pharmacotherapy or subterraneotherapy in the underground Health Resort in the "Wieliczka" Salt Mine. Results: Pearson correlation coefficient between the distance from the place of residence to Cracow and the scale of exacerbation of inflammation of upper respiratory tract presenting as vocal fold dysfunction was observed (r= 0,617; p<0,05). Conclusion: The place of residence (in or out of the industrial area) and exacerbations of chronic laryngitis are highly correlated. Air pollution seems to be the main factor influencing on the condition of upper respiratory tract. In our local conditions of Lesser Poland Voivodeship subterraneotherapy may be an interesting, non-invasive method preventing from exacerbations of upper respiratory tract diseases.
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