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Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1307568

Associations of Fine Particulate Matter Species with Mortality in the United States: A Multicity Time-Series Analysis

Lingzhen Dai, Antonella Zanobetti, Petros Koutrakis, and Joel D. Schwartz
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Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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Citation: Dai L, Zanobetti A, Koutrakis P, Schwartz JD. Associations of Fine Particulate Matter Species with Mortality in the United States: A Multicity Time-Series Analysis. Environ Health Perspect; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1307568.

Received: 29 August 2013
Accepted: 2 May 2014
Advance Publication: 6 May 2014

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Abstract

Background: Epidemiological studies have examined the association between PM2.5 and mortality, but there remains uncertainty about the seasonal variations in PM2.5-related effects and the relative importance of species.

Objectives: to estimate the effects of PM2.5 species on mortality and how infiltration rates may modify the association.

Methods: Using city-season specific Poisson regression, we estimated PM2.5 effects on approximately 4.5 million deaths for all causes, CVD, MI, stroke, and respiratory diseases in 75 U.S. cities for 2000-2006. We added interaction terms between PM2.5 and monthly average species-to-PM2.5 proportions of individual species to determine the relative toxicity of each species. We combined results across cities using multivariate meta-regression, and controlled for infiltration.

Results: We estimated a 1.18% [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.93, 1.44%] increase in all-cause mortality, a 1.03% (95% CI: 0.65, 1.41%) increase in CVD, a 1.22% (95% CI: 0.62, 1.82%) increase in MI, a 1.76% (95% CI: 1.01, 2.52%) increase in stroke, and a 1.71% (95% CI: 1.06, 2.35%) increase in respiratory deaths in association with a 10-µg/m3 increase in 2-day averaged PM2.5 concentration. The associations were largest in the spring. Silicon, calcium, and sulfur were associated with more all-cause mortality, while sulfur was related to more respiratory deaths. County-level smoking and alcohol were associated with larger estimated PM2.5 effects.

Conclusions: Our study showed an increased risk of mortality associated with PM2.5, which varied with seasons and species. The results suggest that mass alone might not be sufficient to evaluate the health effects of particles.


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