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Background: Although many studies have examined the effects of air pollution on mortality, data limitations have resulted in fewer studies of both particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5; fine particles) and of coarse particles (particles with an aerodynamic diameter > 2.5 and < 10 μm; PM coarse). We conducted a national, multicity time-series study of the acute effect of PM2.5 and PM coarse on the increased risk of death for all causes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and respiratory mortality for the years 1999–2005.
Method: We applied a city- and season-specific Poisson regression in 112 U.S. cities to examine the association of mean (day of death and previous day) PM2.5 and PM coarse with daily deaths. We combined the city-specific estimates using a random effects approach, in total, by season and by region.
Results: We found a 0.98% increase [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.75–1.22] in total mortality, a 0.85% increase (95% CI, 0.46–1.24) in CVD, a 1.18% increase (95% CI, 0.48–1.89) in MI, a 1.78% increase (95% CI, 0.96–2.62) in stroke, and a 1.68% increase (95% CI, 1.04–2.33) in respiratory deaths for a 10-μg/m increase in 2-day averaged PM2.5. The effects were higher in spring. For PM coarse, we found significant but smaller increases for all causes analyzed.
Conclusions: We conclude that our analysis showed an increased risk of mortality for all and specific causes associated with PM2.5, and the risks are higher than what was previously observed for PM10. In addition, coarse particles are also associated with more deaths.
Background: Population-based studies have estimated health risks of short-term exposure to fine particles using mass of PM2.5 (particulate matter ≤ 2.5 μm in aerodynamic diameter) as the indicator. Evidence regarding the toxicity of the chemical components of the PM2.5 mixture is limited.
Objective: In this study we investigated the association between hospital admission for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and respiratory disease and the chemical components of PM2.5 in the United States.
Methods: We used a national database comprising daily data for 2000–2006 on emergency hospital admissions for cardiovascular and respiratory outcomes, ambient levels of major PM2.5 chemical components [sulfate, nitrate, silicon, elemental carbon (EC), organic carbon matter (OCM), and sodium and ammonium ions], and weather. Using Bayesian hierarchical statistical models, we estimated the associations between daily levels of PM2.5 components and risk of hospital admissions in 119 U.S. urban communities for 12 million Medicare enrollees (≥ 65 years of age).
Results: In multiple-pollutant models that adjust for the levels of other pollutants, an interquartile range (IQR) increase in EC was associated with a 0.80% [95% posterior interval (PI), 0.34–1.27%] increase in risk of same-day cardiovascular admissions, and an IQR increase in OCM was associated with a 1.01% (95% PI, 0.04–1.98%) increase in risk of respiratory admissions on the same day. Other components were not associated with cardiovascular or respiratory hospital admissions in multiple-pollutant models.
Conclusions: Ambient levels of EC and OCM, which are generated primarily from vehicle emissions, diesel, and wood burning, were associated with the largest risks of emergency hospitalization across the major chemical constituents of PM2.5.
Background: Increases in certain cause-specific hospital admissions have been reported during Asian dust storms (ADS), which primarily originate from north and northwest China during winter and spring. However, few studies have investigated the relationship between the ADS and clinic visits for respiratory diseases in children.
Objective: We investigated the general impact to children’s health across space and time by analyzing daily clinic visits for respiratory diseases among preschool and schoolchildren registered in 12 districts of Taipei City during 1997–2007 from the National Health Insurance dataset.
Methods: We applied a structural additive regression model to estimate the association between ADS episodes and children’s clinic visits for respiratory diseases, controlling for space and time variations.
Results: Compared with weeks before ADS events, the rate of clinic visits during weeks after ADS events increased 2.54% (95% credible interval = 2.43, 2.66) for preschool children (≤ 6 years of age) and 5.03% (95% credible interval = 4.87, 5.20) for schoolchildren (7–14 years of age). Spatial heterogeneity in relative rates of clinic visits was also identified. Compared with the mean level of Taipei City, higher relative rates appeared in districts with or near large hospitals and medical centers.
Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first population-based study to assess the impact of ADS on children’s respiratory health. Our analysis suggests that children’s respiratory health was affected by ADS events across all of Taipei, especially among schoolchildren.
Background: In air pollution time-series studies, the temporal pattern of the association of fine particulate matter (PM2.5; particulate matter ≤ 2.5 µm in aerodynamic diameter) and health end points has been observed to vary by disease category. The lag pattern of PM2.5 chemical constituents has not been well investigated, largely because daily data have not been available.
Objectives: We explored the lag structure for hospital admissions using daily PM2.5 chemical constituent data for 5 years in the Denver Aerosol Sources and Health (DASH) study.
Methods: We measured PM2.5 constituents, including elemental carbon, organic carbon, sulfate, and nitrate, at a central residential site from 2003 through 2007 and linked these daily pollution data to daily hospital admission counts in the five-county Denver metropolitan area. Total hospital admissions and subcategories of respiratory and cardiovascular admissions were examined. We assessed the lag structure of relative risks (RRs) of hospital admissions for PM2.5 and four constituents on the same day and from 1 to 14 previous days from a constrained distributed lag model; we adjusted for temperature, humidity, longer-term temporal trends, and day of week using a generalized additive model.
Results: RRs were generally larger at shorter lags for total cardiovascular admissions but at longer lags for total respiratory admissions. The delayed lag pattern was particularly prominent for asthma. Elemental and organic carbon generally showed more immediate patterns, whereas sulfate and nitrate showed delayed patterns.
Conclusion: In general, PM2.5 chemical constituents were found to have more immediate estimated effects on cardiovascular diseases and more delayed estimated effects on respiratory diseases, depending somewhat on the constituent.
Background: Although many climate-sensitive environmental exposures are related to mortality and morbidity, there is a paucity of estimates of the public health burden attributable to climate change.
Objective: We estimated the excess current and future public health impacts related to respiratory hospitalizations attributable to extreme heat in summer in New York State (NYS) overall, its geographic regions, and across different demographic strata.
Methods: On the basis of threshold temperature and percent risk changes identified from our study in NYS, we estimated recent and future attributable risks related to extreme heat due to climate change using the global climate model with various climate scenarios. We estimated effects of extreme high apparent temperature in summer on respiratory admissions, days hospitalized, direct hospitalization costs, and lost productivity from days hospitalized after adjusting for inflation.
Results: The estimated respiratory disease burden attributable to extreme heat at baseline (1991–2004) in NYS was 100 hospital admissions, US$644,069 in direct hospitalization costs, and 616 days of hospitalization per year. Projections for 2080–2099 based on three different climate scenarios ranged from 206–607 excess hospital admissions, US$26–$76 million in hospitalization costs, and 1,299–3,744 days of hospitalization per year. Estimated impacts varied by geographic region and population demographics.
Conclusions: We estimated that excess respiratory admissions in NYS due to excessive heat would be 2 to 6 times higher in 2080–2099 than in 1991–2004. When combined with other heat-associated diseases and mortality, the potential public health burden associated with global warming could be substantial.
This study is part of a larger research program to examine the relationship between ambient air quality and health in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. We assessed the association between air pollution and daily respiratory hospitalization for different age and sex groups from 1995 to 2000. The pollutants included were nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, particulate matter ≤10 μm in diameter (PM10), coefficient of haze (COH), and total reduced sulfur (TRS). We calculated relative risk (RR) estimates using both time-series and case-crossover methods after controlling for appropriate confounders (temperature, humidity, and change in barometric pressure). The results of both analyses were consistent. We found associations between NO2, SO2, CO, COH, or PM10 and daily hospital admission of respiratory diseases especially among females. For females 0–14 years of age, there was 1-day delayed effect of NO2 (RR = 1.19, case-crossover method), a current-day SO2 (RR = 1.11, time series), and current-day and 1- and 2-day delayed effects for CO by case crossover (RR = 1.15, 1.19, 1.22, respectively). Time-series analysis showed that 1-day delayed effect of PM10 on respiratory admissions of adult males (15–64 years of age), with an RR of 1.18. COH had significant effects on female respiratory hospitalization, especially for 2-day delayed effects on adult females, with RRs of 1.15 and 1.29 using time-series and case-crossover analysis, respectively. There were no significant associations between O3 and TRS with respiratory admissions. These findings provide policy makers with current risks estimates of respiratory hospitalization as a result of poor ambient air quality in a government designated “area of concern.”
We examined the association of infant bronchiolitis with acute exposure to ambient air pollutants.
Design: We employed a time-stratified case–crossover method and based the exposure windows on a priori, biologically based hypotheses.
Participants: We evaluated effects in 19,901 infants in the South Coast Air Basin of California in 1995–2000 with a hospital discharge record for bronchiolitis in the first year of life (International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, CM466.1).
Evaluations/Measurements: Study subjects’ ZIP code was linked to ambient air pollution monitors to derive exposures. We estimated the risk of bronchiolitis hospitalization associated with increases in wintertime ambient air pollutants using conditional logistic regression.
Results: We observed no increased risk after acute exposure to particulate matter ≤ 2.5 μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5), carbon monoxide, or nitrogen dioxide. PM2.5 exposure models suggested a 26–41% increased risk in the most premature infants born at gestational ages between 25 and 29 weeks; however, these findings were based on very small numbers.
Conclusions: We found little support for a link between acute increases in ambient air pollution and infant bronchiolitis except modestly increased risk for PM2.5 exposure among infants born very prematurely. In these infants, the periods of viral acquisition and incubation concurred with the time of increased risk.
Relevance to Professional Practice: We present novel data for the infant period and the key respiratory disease of infancy, bronchiolitis. Incompletely explained trends in rising bronchiolitis hospitalization rates and increasing number of infants born prematurely underscore the importance of evaluating the impact of ambient air pollution in this age group in other populations and studies.
Objective: Nearly all China’s rural residents and a shrinking fraction of urban residents use solid fuels (biomass and coal) for household cooking and/or heating. Consequently, global meta-analyses of epidemiologic studies indicate that indoor air pollution from solid fuel use in China is responsible for approximately 420,000 premature deaths annually, more than the approximately 300,000 attributed to urban outdoor air pollution in the country. Our objective in this review was to help elucidate the extent of this indoor air pollution health hazard.
Data sources: We reviewed approximately 200 publications in both Chinese- and English-language journals that reported health effects, exposure characteristics, and fuel/stove intervention options.
Conclusions: Observed health effects include respiratory illnesses, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, weakening of the immune system, and reduction in lung function. Arsenic poisoning and fluorosis resulting from the use of “poisonous” coal have been observed in certain regions of China. Although attempts have been made in a few studies to identify specific coal smoke constituents responsible for specific adverse health effects, the majority of indoor air measurements include those of only particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and/or nitrogen dioxide. These measurements indicate that pollution levels in households using solid fuel generally exceed China’s indoor air quality standards. Intervention technologies ranging from simply adding a chimney to the more complex modernized bioenergy program are available, but they can be viable only with coordinated support from the government and the commercial sector.