FAIRBANKS - A new state study suggests a link between air quality and the hospitalization rate in the Fairbanks area for people with health problems.
The study released Monday by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services was based on five years of records from Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.
It showed a 6 percent to 7 percent increase in the risk of hospitalization for conditions related to heart disease, stroke and respiratory illness when higher than average amounts of particulates were in the air.
The tiny particles are part of the air pollution produced by cars and trucks, power plants and wood stoves.
Researchers said the study confirms other studies outside Alaska and shows that people with heart and lung problems need to take air-quality warnings seriously.