Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and cardiopulmonary mortality in women

Ulrike Gehring, Joachim Heinrich, Ursula Krämer, Veit Grote, Matthias Hochadel, Dorothea Sugiri, Martin Kraft, Knut Rauchfuss, Hans Georg Eberwein, H-Erich Wichmann
Epidemiology 2006, 17 (5): 545-51

BACKGROUND: Living close to major roads or highways has been suggested to almost double the risk of dying from cardiopulmonary causes. We assessed whether long-term exposure to air pollution originating from motorized traffic and industrial sources is associated with total and cause-specific mortality in a cohort of women living in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

METHODS: The study was a follow-up of a series of cross-sectional studies carried out during the 1980s and 1990s on the health of women (age 50-59 years). Approximately 4800 women were followed up for vital status and migration. Exposure to air pollution was defined by distance to major roads calculated from Geographic Information System data and by 1- and 5-year average nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particle (PM10) concentrations calculated from air monitoring station data. We analyzed associations between exposure and mortality using Cox's proportional hazards models adjusting for confounders. Relative risks (RRs) refer to an interquartile range increase in exposure (16 microg/m for NO2; 7 microg/m for PM10).

RESULTS: During the follow-up period, 8% of the women died, 3% from cardiopulmonary causes. Cardiopulmonary mortality was associated with living within a 50-meter radius of a major road (adjusted RR = 1.70; 95% confidence interval = 1.02-2.81), with NO2 (1.57; 1.23-2.00 for 1-year average), and with PM10 (1.34; 1.06-1.71 for 1-year average). Exposure to NO2 was also associated with all-cause mortality (1.17; 1.02-1.34). No association was seen with noncardiopulmonary nonlung cancer mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: Living close to major roads and chronic exposure to NO2 and PM10 may be associated with an increased mortality due to cardiopulmonary causes.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"