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Title: Health and industrial development in Oman : epidemiological analysis of the health effects in a population living near a major industrial park in Oman
Author: Al-Wahaibi, Adil Said
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 0802
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2015
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Background and Aims: The Sohar Industrial Zone (SIZ), Oman, which started to operate in 2006, contains many industries that possibly affect the health of the local population. This study was carried out to evaluate the health effects in a population living near SIZ. Methods: Retrospective health care visits for acute respiratory diseases (ARD), asthma, conjunctivitis and dermatitis were collected between 2006 and 2010 for 2 large provinces with geographic proximity to SIZ. Exposure of the surrounding villages was classified using proximity to SIZ. Three exposure zones were defined according to the distances from the SIZ: ≤5, >5-10, ≥20 km representing high, intermediate and control exposure zones respectively. Age and gender-adjusted monthly counts of visits for the selected diseases were modelled using generalised additive models controlling for time trends. The high and intermediate exposure zones were later merged together due to similarity of effects. Exposure effect modification by age, gender and socioeconomic status (SES) was also tested. Results: Living within 10 km from SIZ showed greater association for ARD (RR: 2.5; 95% CI: 2.3-2.7), asthma (RR: 3.7; 95% CI: 3.1-4.5), conjunctivitis (RR: 3.1; 95% CI: 2.9-3.5) and dermatitis (RR: 2.7; 95% CI: 2.5-3.0) when compared to the control zone, for the population of <20 years. For the population of ≥20 years, these risks were: (RR: 2.0; 95% CI: 1.9-2.2), (RR: 3.6; 95% CI: 3.0-4.4), (RR: 2.8; 95% CI: 2.5-3.2) and (RR: 2.1; 95% CI: 1.9-2.4), respectively. Greater exposure effects were observed amongst ages ≥50 years and lower SES groups in the ≥20 years group. Models showed no differences between the gender groups. Conclusion: This is the first study conducted in Oman examining the adverse health effects on the population living near SIZ. We hope that these findings will contribute to building up an evidence-based environmental and public health policy in Oman.
Supervisor: Zeka, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Environmental hhealth ; Epidemiology ; Public health ; Industrial development ; respiratory diseases