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Arch Environ Health. 2000 Mar-Apr;55(2):115-20.

Air pollution and daily mortality in Shenyang, China.

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Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The authors analyzed daily mortality data in Shenyang, China, for calendar year 1992 to identify possible associations with ambient sulfur dioxide and total suspended particulates. Both total suspended particulate concentrations (mean = 430 microg/m3, maximum = 1,141 microg/m3) and sulfur dioxide concentrations (mean 197 = microg/m3, maximum = 659 microg/m3) far exceeded the World Health Organization's recommended criteria. An average of 45.5 persons died each day. The lagged moving averages of air-pollution levels, calculated as the mean of the nonmissing air-pollution levels of the concurrent and 3 preceding days, were used for all analyses. Locally weighted regression analysis, including temperature, humidity, day of week, and a time variable, showed a positive association between daily mortality and both total suspended particulates and sulfur dioxide. When the authors included total suspended particulates and sulfur dioxide separately in the model, both were highly significant predictors of daily mortality. The risk of all-cause mortality increased by an estimated 1.7% and 2.4% with a 100-microg/m3 concomitant increase in total suspended particulate and sulfur dioxide, respectively. When the authors analyzed mortality separately by cause of death, the association with total suspended particulates was significant for cardiovascular disease (2.1%), but not statistically significant for chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (2.6%). In contrast, the association with sulfur dioxide was significant for chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (7.4%), but not for cardiovascular disease (1.8%). The mortality from cancer was not associated significantly with total suspended particles or with sulfur dioxide. The correlation between sulfur dioxide and total suspended particulates was high (correlation coefficient = .66). When the authors included sulfur dioxide and total suspended particulates simultaneously in the model, the association between total suspended particulates and mortality from all causes and cardiovascular diseases remained significant. Sulfur dioxide was associated significantly with increased mortality from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and other causes. The results of the current study reveal increased mortality associated with both total suspended particulates and sulfur dioxide.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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