Are the short-term effects of air pollution restricted to cardiorespiratory diseases?

Publié le 15 Mai 2009
Mis à jour le 10 septembre 2019

Short-term effects of air pollution on common morbidity are largely unknown. The authors explored links between daily levels of air pollution (nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and particulate matter less than 10 mum in diameter (PM(10))) and medical home visits made for diverse reasons in Bordeaux, France, during 2000-2006. Daily numbers of visits were obtained from a network of general practitioners. The excess relative risk (ERR) of a visit for each indicator associated with increased pollutant levels was estimated by fitting a Poisson regression model, controlling for well-known confounding factors and temporal trends. Positive and significant associations were found between air pollution and most health indicators. A 10-mug/m(3) increase in PM(10) levels was associated with increases in visits for upper and lower respiratory diseases (ERRs were 1.5% (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.3, 2.7) and 2.5% (95% CI: 0.5, 4.4), respectively), headache and asthenia (ERR = 3.5%, 95% CI: 1.3, 5.9), and skin rash and conjunctivitis (ERR = 3.2%, 95% CI: -0.2, 6.8). Significant associations were also found between nitrogen dioxide and ozone and several health indicators. Distributed-lag models showed no harvesting effect, and some effects persisted up to 15 days after exposure increased. These results suggest that considering only the most severe effects of air pollution leads to underestimation of its impact on public health.(R.A.)

Auteur : Larrieu S, Lefranc A, Gault G, Chatignoux E, Couvy F, Jouves B, Filleul L
American Journal of Epidemiology, 2009, vol. 169, n°. 10, p. 1201-8