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Environ Res. 2001 Jul;86(3):209-16.

Mortality related to cold and air pollution in London after allowance for effects of associated weather patterns.

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Biomedical Sciences, St. Bartholomew's and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary and Westfield College, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS, United Kingdom.


We looked for atypical weather patterns that could confound, and explain large inconsistencies in, conventional estimates of mortality due to SO(2), CO, and smoke. Using Greater London data for 1976-1995 in the linear temperature/mortality range 0-15 degrees C we determined weather patterns associated with pollutants (all deseasonalized) by single regressions of daily temperature, wind, rain, humidity, and sunshine at successive days advance and delay. Polluted days were colder (P<0.01 for SO(2), CO, and smoke) and less windy and rainy than usual, and this cold weather was more prolonged than usual with 50% maximum temperature depression 5.9 days (95% interval 4.0-7.7) before high SO(2), compared to 2.0 (1.6-2.3) days before average cold days. We also used multiple regression of mortality at 50+ years of age on all these weather factors and pollutants at 0-, 1-, 2- to 4-, 5- to 13-, and 14- to 24-day delays to allow for the atypical weather patterns. This showed cold weather associated with 2.77 excess deaths per million during 24 days following a 1 degrees C fall for 1 day, but no net excess deaths with SO(2) (mean 28.0 ppb) or CO (1.26 ppm). It suggested (P>0.05) some increase with smoke, perhaps acting as surrogate for PM(10), for which data were too scanty to analyze.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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