Rapid urbanisation in Malaysian cities poses risks to the health of residents. This study aims to estimate the relative risk (RR) of major air pollutants on cardiovascular and respiratory hospitalisations in Kuala Lumpur. Daily hospitalisations due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases from 2010 to 2014 were obtained from the Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz (HCTM). The trace gases, PM10 and weather variables were obtained from the Department of Environment (DOE) Malaysia in consistent with the hospitalisation data. The RR was estimated using a Generalised Additive Model (GAM) based on Poisson regression. A "lag" concept was used where the analysis was segregated into risks of immediate exposure (lag 0) until exposure after 5 days (lag 5). The results showed that the gases could pose significant risks towards cardiovascular and respiratory hospitalisations. However, the RR value of PM10 was not significant in this study. Immediate effects on cardiovascular hospitalisations were observed for NO2 and O3 but no immediate effect was found on respiratory hospitalisations. Delayed effects on cardiovascular and respiratory hospitalisations were found with SO2 and NO2. The highest RR value was observed at lag 4 for respiratory admissions with SO2 (RR = 1.123, 95% CI = 1.045-1.207), followed by NO2 at lag 5 for cardiovascular admissions (RR = 1.025, 95% CI = 1.005-1.046). For the multi-pollutant model, NO2 at lag 5 showed the highest risks towards cardiovascular hospitalisations after controlling for O3 8 h mean lag 1 (RR = 1.026, 95% CI = 1.006-1.047), while SO2 at lag 4 showed highest risks towards respiratory hospitalisations after controlling for NO2 lag 3 (RR = 1.132, 95% CI = 1.053-1.216). This study indicated that exposure to trace gases in Kuala Lumpur could lead to both immediate and delayed effects on cardiovascular and respiratory hospitalisations.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.