Publication Date

2015

Abstract

Background
Studies have shown associations between mortality and long-term exposure to particulate matter air pollution. Few cohort studies have estimated the effects of the elemental composition of particulate matter on mortality.
Objectives
Our aim was to study the association between natural-cause mortality and long-term exposure to elemental components of particulate matter.
Methods
Mortality and confounder data from 19 European cohort studies were used. Residential exposure to eight a priori–selected components of particulate matter (PM) was characterized following a strictly standardized protocol. Annual average concentrations of copper, iron, potassium, nickel, sulfur, silicon, vanadium, and zinc within PM size fractions ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and ≤ 10 μm (PM10) were estimated using land-use regression models. Cohort-specific statistical analyses of the associations between mortality and air pollution were conducted using Cox proportional hazards models using a common protocol followed by meta-analysis.
Results
The total study population consisted of 291,816 participants, of whom 25,466 died from a natural cause during follow-up (average time of follow-up, 14.3 years). Hazard ratios were positive for almost all elements and statistically significant for PM2.5 sulfur (1.14; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.23 per 200 ng/m3). In a two-pollutant model, the association with PM2.5 sulfur was robust to adjustment for PM2.5 mass, whereas the association with PM2.5 mass was reduced.
Conclusions
Long-term exposure to PM2.5 sulfur was associated with natural-cause mortality. This association was robust to adjustment for other pollutants and PM2.5.

School/Institute

Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

Access Rights

Open Access

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