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Environ Res. 2004 Mar;94(3):234-42.

Ozone, area social conditions, and mortality in Mexico City.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.


We investigated whether the association of daily mortality and ambient ozone differs by age and area social conditions of the region of residence using a time-series analysis. The study setting was metropolitan Mexico City, a high altitude city situated in a valley, with an estimated 20 million inhabitants, large socioeconomic gradients, and ozone levels frequently exceeding international standards. We stratified daily deaths by six census-derived socioeconomic indicators, based on characteristics of the county where decedents lived. We used Poisson regression to model the association between daily mortality and ozone levels (on the day of death and the previous day) in separate models, stratified by area socioeconomic level and age, and controlling for time trends and temperature. Ozone was positively associated with total mortality [0.65% increase per 10 ppb increment, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.02%, 1.28%] and for mortality among those over age 65 [1.39% increase per 10 ppb increment, 95% CI: 0.51%, 2.28%]. Associations between ozone and all-age mortality did not show any consistent patterns according to socioeconomic gradients. We conclude that elderly people are at higher risk for ozone-associated mortality. Though county-level social indicators in Mexico City were not strong markers of vulnerability to ozone-associated acute mortality in this analysis, complex associations between individual and area-level factors may exist that would require additional data and further analyses to elucidate.

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