Air pollution gives higher death risk

A study investigating the relation between air pollution and mortality in Norways capital Oslo, show that the exposure levels effected the death risk for all age groups and both sexes.

The study investigated the concentration-response relation between air pollution (nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter pollutants PM10 and PM2.5) and cause-specific mortality.

The population included all inhabitants of Oslo, Norway, aged 51–90 years on January 1, 1992 (n ¼ 143,842) with follow-up of deaths from 1992 to 1998. An
air dispersion model (AirQUIS; Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), Oslo, Norway) was used to estimate levels of exposure in 1992–1995 in all 470 administrative neighborhoods. These data were linked to census, education, and death registries.

A consistent effect on all causes of death was found for both sexes and age
groups by all indicators of air pollution. The effects appeared to increase at nitrogen dioxide levels higher than 40 lg/m3 in the youngest age group and with a linear effect in the interval 20–60 lg/m3 for the oldest.

Air pollution gives higher death risk

An effect of all indicators on cardiovascular causes, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was also found in both age groups and sexes. The effects were particularly strong for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which appeared to have linear effects, whereas cardiovascular causes and lung cancer seemed to have threshold effects.

Persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the elderly seem
to be susceptible to air pollution at lower levels than the general population.nd PM10).

The stydy is published in the American Journal of Epidemiology:
“Relation between concentration of air pollution and cause specific mortality: Four year exposures to NO2 and particulate matter pollutants in 470 neighbourhoods in Oslo, Norway”.

Partners in the study: The Institute of General Practice and Community Medicine, the University of Oslo, National Institute of Public Health, the Norwegian Public Road Administration and the Norwegian Institute for Air Research.

About the exposure assessment:

The Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) calculated concentrations (in micrograms per meter cubed) of air pollutants such as NO2 and PM10 and PM2.5 with the AirQUIS air dispersion model system (NILU, Oslo, Norway ( in 470 neighborhoods in the city of Oslo for 1992–1995 (10–12).

Concentrations were calculated hourly by using hourly emissions and meteorologic data for the period. In Oslo, the major sources of air pollution from the above-mentioned compounds during the period were car traffic, road dust, wood burning, and long-range transport by trucks (mainly for PM2.5 and PM10).

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