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Assessment of the Possible Association of Air Pollutants PM10, O3, NO2 With an Increase in Cardiovascular, Respiratory, and Diabetes Mortality in Panama City: A 2003 to 2013 Data Analysis

Abstract

In recent years, Panama has experienced a marked economic growth, and this, in turn, has been associated with rapid urban development and degradation of air quality. This study is the first evaluation done in Panama on the association between air pollution and mortality. Our objective was to assess the possible association between monthly levels of PM10, O3, and NO2, and cardiovascular, respiratory, and diabetes mortality, as well as the seasonal variation of mortality in Panama City, Panama.The study was conducted in Panama City, using air pollution data from January 2003 to December 2013. We utilized a Poisson regression model based on generalized linear models, to evaluate the association between PM10, NO2, and O3 exposure and mortality from diabetes, cardiovascular, and respiratory diseases. The sample size for PM10, NO2, and O2 was 132, 132, and 108 monthly averages, respectively.We found that levels of PM10, O3, and NO2 were associated with increases in cardiovascular, respiratory, and diabetes mortality. For PM10 levels ≥ 40 μg/m3, we found an increase in cardiovascular mortality of 9.7% (CI 5.8-13.6%), and an increase of 12.6% (CI 0.2-24.2%) in respiratory mortality. For O3 levels ≥ 20 μg/m3 we found an increase of 32.4% (IC 14.6-52.9) in respiratory mortality, after a 2-month lag period following exposure in the 65 to