If you’re stuck on a subway and you can’t see your way home, you might as well be in the hospital, a study says.
A Japanese research team said that subway passengers could experience a “significant reduction in risk of hospitalisation” in areas with good access to public transport.
“The main risk is that the patient may suffer an unexpected medical emergency, such as anaphylactic shock,” Professor Katsuhiko Miyamoto, from the University of Tokyo, told the AFP news agency.
He added that patients could even suffer serious injuries or even death.
But, he said, “the greatest risk is from suffocation or suffocation with hypothermia”.
In the study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, the researchers analysed the number of hospital admissions and deaths from air-conditioning-related hospitalisations in different areas of Japan from 1999 to 2009.
They found that “in all of the urban areas with high levels of air-conditions, there was a significant reduction in hospitalisation and deaths”, Mr Miyamoto said.
“This is especially significant because there is a lack of knowledge about the causes of these conditions, particularly among the urban public.”
The researchers also found that there was no difference in the numbers of people with respiratory conditions, including asthma, who died from air conditions compared with the control group.
The researchers said that the “solution” to this “unhealthy state” is “the use of air conditioning”.
The researchers did not find any evidence of a link between the number and severity of respiratory conditions and the number or severity of hospitalisations.
“Air conditioning has a number of potential benefits,” the researchers wrote.
“First, it can reduce the severity of air conditioners and other mechanical devices, such the fan, the air-raid doors, and the vents, and increase their efficiency.
Second, it could also reduce the number, or even eliminate the occurrence, of certain conditions.”
Dr Miyamoto added that the study also showed that people who suffered an unexpected air conditioner emergency could be “at high risk of having respiratory problems such as asthma or COPD”.
He said it was important that people “should be aware of the potential risks of the air conditioning and ventilation systems they use”.
The study also found “no significant differences in the prevalence of respiratory diseases” between those with asthma and those with COPD.
The BBC’s Kevin Connelly in Tokyo says that while it is not clear how much air conditioning is necessary for people with asthma, the findings highlight the importance of keeping air conditioning on during the night, and that air conditioning can also reduce CO levels.
“There is some research that suggests that the longer people sleep, the more they breathe in CO and the worse they are at getting air.”
A spokeswoman for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said that, while they were aware of some air-conventilating measures, they were not aware of any measures to reduce the incidence of CO. “
So you are essentially taking two of the most common causes of CO-related respiratory disease, and reducing the exposure to CO by an average of about a tenth of a degree of CO exposure.”
A spokeswoman for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said that, while they were aware of some air-conventilating measures, they were not aware of any measures to reduce the incidence of CO.
The spokeswoman said the city’s health department is in the process of updating its ventilation rules and plans to update the citys ventilation rules by July next year.
The citys guidelines are based on a number that includes air-time and ambient temperature.
The spokesperson said that “the air-control devices must be installed properly and must have the proper safety and control mechanisms in place”.