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June 6, 2001

Automobile Traffic, Atmospheric Pollution, and Childhood Asthma—Reply

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;285(21):2712-2713. doi:10.1001/jama.285.21.2712

In Reply: We appreciate Dr Varner's concern that fluctuations in the rates of viral respiratory infections and allergen exposure might have confounded our results. However, we believe that we accounted for these potential confounders in our study methods and analyses.

First, we reported that the daily level of molds, the primary outdoor aeroallergen present during the summer in Atlanta, did not significantly change between the time of the Olympic games and the baseline period. In addition, we found no correlation between daily mold counts and asthma events during the entire study period (mean, r = − 0.15 for same-day exposure; r = − 0.05 for 1-day lagged exposure). Pollen levels, which were less than 1% of their early spring peaks, also did not correlate significantly with asthma events (mean, r = 0.18 for same day or 1-day lag).