Air Pollution

Recent Publications and News

Connections between air pollution, climate change, and cardiovascular health

Globally, more people die from cardiovascular disease than any other cause. Climate change, through amplified environmental exposures, will promote and contribute to many noncommunicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease. Air pollution, too, is responsible for millions of deaths from cardiovascular disease each year. Although they may appear to be independent, interchangeable relationships and bidirectional cause-and-effect arrows between climate change and air pollution can eventually lead to poor cardiovascular health. In this topical review, we show that climate change and air pollution worsen each other, leading to several ecosystem-mediated effects. We highlight how increases in hot climates as a result of climate change have increased the risk of major air pollution events such as severe wildfires and dust storms.
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Joint effect of heat and air pollution on mortality in 620 cities of 36 countries

The epidemiological evidence on the interaction between heat and ambient air pollution on mortality is still inconsistent. This study investigates the interaction between heat and ambient air pollution on daily mortality by utilizing daily data on all-cause mortality, air temperature, particulate matter ≤ 10 μm (PM10), PM ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3) from 620 cities in 36 countries in the period 1995–2020.
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Long-term association of air pollution and incidence of lung cancer among older Americans: A national study in the Medicare cohort

Despite strong evidence of the association of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure with an increased risk of lung cancer mortality, few studies had investigated associations of multiple pollutants simultaneously, or with incidence, or using causal methods. Disparities were also understudied.

We investigated long-term effects of PM2.5, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), warm-season ozone, and particle radioactivity (PR) exposures on lung cancer incidence in a nationwide cohort.

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Effects of low-level air pollution exposures on hospital admission for myocardial infarction using multiple causal models

Myocardial infarctions have been associated with PM2.5, and more recently with NO2 and O3, however counterfactual designs have been lacking and argument continues over the extent of confounding control. Here we introduce a doubly robust, counterfactual-based approach that deals with nonlinearity and interactions in associations between confounders and both outcome and exposure, as well as a double negative controls approach that capture omitted confounders.
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Air pollution can increase risk of several cancers for older adults, even at low exposures

Researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have found evidence suggesting that long-term exposure to air pollution could increase the risk of several cancers in older adults, even at relatively low pollution levels that are below current US and international safety standards.
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