Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Dr. Piotr Wilk


The highly associated paediatric conditions of asthma and overweight have seen dramatic increases over the past few decades. This thesis explored air pollution exposure as a potential underlying mechanism of co-morbid asthma and overweight among adolescents aged 12 to 18 years. Data from the Canadian Community Health Survey were merged with a database containing estimates of air pollution as assessed by particulate matter ≤ 2.5 microns (PM2.5) concentrations at the postal code centroid in southwestern Ontario. Logistic regression was used to conduct the analysis. Adolescents were more likely to be overweight as PM2.5 concentrations increased. There was no significant association between PM2.5 and asthma and co-morbid asthma and overweight. The positive association between PM2.5 and overweight found in this study, and the literature supporting a causal relationship between air pollution and asthma, suggests a need to further explore the role of air pollution as a shared risk factor.