105 results found
Parkes B, Stafoggia M, Fecht D, et al., 2022, Community factors and excess mortality in the COVID-19 pandemic in England, Italy and Sweden
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Analyses of COVID-19 suggest specific risk factors make communities more or less vulnerable to pandemic related deaths within countries. What is unclear is whether the characteristics affecting vulnerability of small communities within countries produce similar patterns of excess mortality across countries with different demographics and public health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. We applied a two-stage Bayesian spatial model to quantify inequalities in excess mortality in people aged 40 years and older at the community level in England, Italy and Sweden during the first year of the pandemic (March 2020– February 2021). We used community characteristics measuring deprivation, air pollution, living conditions, population density and movement of people as model covariates to quantify their associations with excess mortality. We found that just under half of communities in England (48.1%) and Italy (45.8%) had an excess mortality of over 300 per 100,000 males over the age of 40, while for Sweden that covered 23.1% of the community-level areas. We showed that deprivation is a strong predictor of excess mortality across the three countries, and communities with high levels of overcrowding were associated with higher excess mortality in England and Sweden. These results highlight some international similarities in factors affecting mortality that will help policy makers target public health measures to increase the resilience of communities to the mortality impacts of this and future pandemics.</jats:p>
Asaria P, Bennett J, Elliott P, et al., 2022, Contributions of event rates, pre-hospital deaths and hospital case fatality to variations in myocardial infarction mortality in 326 districts in England: spatial analysis of linked hospitalisation and mortality data, The Lancet Public Health, ISSN: 2468-2667
Roscoe C, Sheridan C, Geneshka M, et al., 2022, Green walkability and physical activity in UK biobank: a cross-sectional analysis of adults in Greater London, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol: 19, Pages: 1-15, ISSN: 1660-4601
Urban greenspace provides opportunities for outdoor exercise and may increase physical activity, with accompanying health benefits. Areas suitable for walking (walkability) are also associated with increased physical activity, but interactions with greenspace are poorly understood. We investigated associations of walkability and green walkability with physical activity in an urban adult cohort. We used cross-sectional data from Greater London UK Biobank participants (n = 57,726) and assessed walkability along roads and footpaths within 1000 m of their residential addresses. Additionally, we assessed green walkability by integrating trees and low-lying vegetation into the walkability index. Physical activity outcomes included self-reported and accelerometer-measured physical activity and active transport. We assessed associations using log-linear, logistic and linear regression models, adjusted for individual- and area-level confounders. Higher green walkability was associated with favourable International Physical Activity Questionnaire responses and achievement of weekly UK government physical activity guideline recommendations. Participants living in the highest versus lowest quintile of green walkability participated in 2.41 min (95% confidence intervals: 0.22, 4.60) additional minutes of moderate-and-vigorous physical activity per day. Higher walkability and green walkability scores were also associated with choosing active transport modes such as walking and cycling. Our green walkability approach demonstrates the utility in accounting for walkability and greenspace simultaneously to understand the role of the built environment on physical activity.
Liu S, Lim Y-H, Chen J, et al., 2022, Long-term air pollution exposure and pneumonia related mortality in a large pooled European cohort, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, ISSN: 1073-449X
RATIONALE: Ambient air pollution exposure has been linked to mortality from chronic cardiorespiratory diseases, while evidence on respiratory infections remains more limited. OBJECTIVES: We examined the association between long-term exposure to air pollution and pneumonia related mortality in adults in a pool of eight European cohorts. METHODS: Within the multicenter project 'Effects of Low-Level Air Pollution: A Study in Europe' (ELAPSE), we pooled data from eight cohorts among six European countries. Annual mean residential concentrations in 2010 for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), black carbon (BC), and ozone (O3) were estimated using Europe-wide hybrid land use regression models. We applied stratified Cox proportional hazard models to investigate the associations between air pollution and pneumonia, influenza, and acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI) mortality. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Of 325,367 participants, 712 died from pneumonia and influenza combined, 682 from pneumonia, and 695 from ALRI during a mean follow-up of 19.5 years. NO2 and BC were associated with 10-12% increases in pneumonia and influenza combined mortality, but 95% confidence intervals included unity [hazard ratios: 1.12 (0.99-1.26) per 10 µg/m3 for NO2; 1.10 (0.97-1.24) per 0.5 10-5m-1 for BC]. Associations with pneumonia and ALRI mortality were almost identical. We detected effect modification suggesting stronger associations with NO2 or BC in overweight, employed, or currently smoking participants compared to normal weight, unemployed, or non-smoking participants. CONCLUSIONS: Long-term exposure to combustion-related air pollutants NO2 and BC may be associated with mortality from lower respiratory infections, but larger studies are needed to estimate these associations more precisely.
Chamberlain R, Fecht D, Davies B, et al., 2022, PROSPERO registration: Impacts of Low Emission and Congestion Charging Zones on physical health outcomes: a systematic review.
Chen J, Rodopoulou S, Strak M, et al., 2022, Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and bladder cancer incidence in a pooled European cohort: the ELAPSE project, British Journal of Cancer, ISSN: 0007-0920
BACKGROUND: The evidence linking ambient air pollution to bladder cancer is limited and mixed. METHODS: We assessed the associations of bladder cancer incidence with residential exposure to fine particles (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), black carbon (BC), warm season ozone (O3) and eight PM2.5 elemental components (copper, iron, potassium, nickel, sulfur, silicon, vanadium, and zinc) in a pooled cohort (N = 302,493). Exposures were primarily assessed based on 2010 measurements and back-extrapolated to the baseline years. We applied Cox proportional hazard models adjusting for individual- and area-level potential confounders. RESULTS: During an average of 18.2 years follow-up, 967 bladder cancer cases occurred. We observed a positive though statistically non-significant association between PM2.5 and bladder cancer incidence. Hazard Ratios (HR) were 1.09 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.93-1.27) per 5 µg/m3 for 2010 exposure and 1.06 (95% CI: 0.99-1.14) for baseline exposure. Effect estimates for NO2, BC and O3 were close to unity. A positive association was observed with PM2.5 zinc (HR 1.08; 95% CI: 1.00-1.16 per 10 ng/m3). CONCLUSIONS: We found suggestive evidence of an association between long-term PM2.5 mass exposure and bladder cancer, strengthening the evidence from the few previous studies. The association with zinc in PM2.5 suggests the importance of industrial emissions.
Stafoggia M, Oftedal B, Chen J, et al., 2022, Long-term exposure to low ambient air pollution concentrations and mortality among 28 million people: results from seven large European cohorts within the ELAPSE project, The Lancet Planetary Health, Vol: 6, Pages: e9-e18, ISSN: 2542-5196
BACKGROUND: Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution has been associated with premature mortality, but associations at concentrations lower than current annual limit values are uncertain. We analysed associations between low-level air pollution and mortality within the multicentre study Effects of Low-Level Air Pollution: A Study in Europe (ELAPSE). METHODS: In this multicentre longitudinal study, we analysed seven population-based cohorts of adults (age ≥30 years) within ELAPSE, from Belgium, Denmark, England, the Netherlands, Norway, Rome (Italy), and Switzerland (enrolled in 2000-11; follow-up until 2011-17). Mortality registries were used to extract the underlying cause of death for deceased individuals. Annual average concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2·5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), black carbon, and tropospheric warm-season ozone (O3) from Europe-wide land use regression models at 100 m spatial resolution were assigned to baseline residential addresses. We applied cohort-specific Cox proportional hazard models with adjustment for area-level and individual-level covariates to evaluate associations with non-accidental mortality, as the main outcome, and with cardiovascular, non-malignant respiratory, and lung cancer mortality. Subset analyses of participants living at low pollutant concentrations (as per predefined values) and natural splines were used to investigate the concentration-response function. Cohort-specific effect estimates were pooled in a random-effects meta-analysis. FINDINGS: We analysed 28 153 138 participants contributing 257 859 621 person-years of observation, during which 3 593 741 deaths from non-accidental causes occurred. We found significant positive associations between non-accidental mortality and PM2·5, NO2, and black carbon, with a hazard ratio (HR) of 1·053 (95% CI 1·021-1·085) per 5 μg/m3 increment in PM2·5, 1·044 (1·019-1·069) per 10 μg/m3 NO2, and
Malacarne D, Chandakas E, Robinson O, et al., 2022, The built environment as determinant of childhood obesity: a systematic literature review, Obesity Reviews, Vol: 23, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 1467-7881
We evaluated the epidemiological evidence on the built environment and its link to childhood obesity, focusing on environmental factors such as traffic noise and air pollution, as well as physical factors potentially driving obesity-related behaviours, such as neighbourhood walkability and availability and accessibility of parks and playgrounds. Eligible studies were i) conducted on human children below the age of 18 years, ii) focused on body size measurements in childhood, iii) examined at least one built environment characteristic, iv) reported effect sizes and associated confidence intervals, and v) were published in English language. A z-Test, as alternative to the meta-analysis, was used to quantify associations due to heterogeneity in exposure and outcome definition. We found strong evidence for an association of traffic-related air pollution (nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxides exposure; p<0.001) and built environment characteristics supportive of walking (street intersection density; p<0.01 and access to parks; p<0.001) with childhood obesity. We identified a lack of studies which account for interactions between different built environment exposures or verify the role and mechanism of important effect modifiers such as age.
So R, Chen J, Mehta AJ, et al., 2021, Long-term exposure to air pollution and liver cancer incidence in six European cohorts, International Journal of Cancer, Vol: 149, Pages: 1887-1897, ISSN: 0020-7136
Particulate matter air pollution and diesel engine exhaust have been classified as carcinogenic for lung cancer, yet few studies have explored associations with liver cancer. We used six European adult cohorts which were recruited between 1985 and 2005, pooled within the 'Effects of low-level air pollution: A study in Europe' (ELAPSE) project, and followed for the incidence of liver cancer until 2011 to 2015. The annual average exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2 ), particulate matter with diameter < 2.5 μm (PM2.5 ), black carbon (BC), warm-season ozone (O3 ), and eight elemental components of PM2.5 (copper, iron, zinc, sulfur, nickel, vanadium, silicon, potassium) were estimated by European-wide hybrid land-use regression models at participants' residential addresses. We analyzed the association between air pollution and liver cancer incidence by Cox proportional hazards models adjusting for potential confounders. Of 330,064 cancer-free adults at baseline, 512 developed liver cancer during a mean follow-up of 18.1 years. We observed positive linear associations between NO2 (hazard ratio, 95% confidence interval: 1.17, 1.02-1.35 per 10 μg/m3 ), PM2.5 (1.12, 0.92-1.36 per 5 μg/m3 ), and BC (1.15, 1.00-1.33 per 0.5 10-5 /m) and liver cancer incidence. Associations with NO2 and BC persisted in two-pollutant models with PM2.5 . Most components of PM2.5 were associated with the risk of liver cancer, with the strongest associations for sulfur and vanadium, which were robust to adjustment for PM2.5 or NO2 . Our study suggests that ambient air pollution may increase the risk of liver cancer, even at concentrations below current EU standards. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Tayal U, 2021, Exposure to elevated nitrogen dioxide concentrations and cardiac remodelling in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, Journal of Cardiac Failure, ISSN: 1071-9164
Rationale: Empirical evidence suggests a strong link between exposure to air pollution and heart failure incidence, hospitalisations and mortality, but the biological basis of this remains unclear. Objective: To determine the relationship between differential air pollution levels and changes in cardiac structure and function in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. Methods and Results: We undertook a prospective longitudinal observational cohort study of patients in England with dilated cardiomyopathy (enrollment 2009-2015; n=716, 66% male, 85% Caucasian) and conducted cross sectional analysis at the time of study enrollment. Annual average air pollution exposure estimates for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter with diameter ≤ 2.5µm (PM2.5) at enrolment were assigned to each residential postcode (on average 12 households). The relationship between air pollution and cardiac morphology was assessed using linear regression modelling. Greater ambient exposure to NO2 was associated with higher indexed left ventricular mass (4.3 g/m2 increase per interquartile range (IQR) increase in NO2, 95% CI 1.9 to 7.0 g/m2) and lower left ventricular ejection fraction (-1.5% decrease per IQR increase in NO2, 95% CI -2.7 to -0.2%), independent of age, sex, socio-economic status and clinical covariates. The associations were robust to adjustment for smoking status and geographical clustering by postcode area. The effect of air pollution on left ventricular mass was greatest in women. These effects were specific to NO2 exposure. Conclusion: Exposure to air pollution is associated with raised left ventricular mass and lower left ventricular ejection fraction, with the strongest effect in women. Whilst epidemiological associations between air pollution and heart failure have been established and supported by pre-clinical studies, our findings provide novel empirical evidence of cardiac remodelling and exposure to air pollution with important clinical and public health
Stratakis N, Rock S, La Merrill MA, et al., 2021, Prenatal exposure to persistent organic pollutants and childhood obesity: A systematic review and meta-analysis of human studies, Obesity Reviews, Vol: 23, Pages: 1-16, ISSN: 1467-7881
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the associations between prenatal exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and childhood obesity. We focused on organochlorines (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane [DDT], dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene [DDE], hexachlorobenzene [HCB], and polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs]), perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) that are the POPs more widely studied in environmental birth cohorts so far. We search two databases (PubMed and Embase) through July/09/2021 and identified 33 studies reporting associations with prenatal organochlorine exposure, 21 studies reporting associations with prenatal PFAS, and five studies reporting associations with prenatal PBDEs. We conducted a qualitative review. Additionally, we performed random-effects meta-analyses of POP exposures, with data estimates from at least three prospective studies, and BMI-z. Prenatal DDE and HCB levels were associated with higher BMI z-score in childhood (beta: 0.12, 95% CI: 0.03, 0.21; I2 : 28.1% per study-specific log increase of DDE and beta: 0.31, 95% CI: 0.09, 0.53; I2 : 31.9% per study-specific log increase of HCB). No significant associations between PCB-153, PFOA, PFOS, or pentaPBDEs with childhood BMI were found in meta-analyses. In individual studies, there was inconclusive evidence that POP levels were positively associated with other obesity indicators (e.g., waist circumference).
Rashid T, Bennett J, Paciorek C, et al., 2021, Life expectancy and risk of death in 6,791 English communities from 2002 to 2019: high-resolution spatiotemporal analysis of civil registration data, The Lancet Public Health, Vol: 6, Pages: e805-e816, ISSN: 2468-2667
Background: There is limited data with high spatial granularity on how mortality and longevity have changed in English communities. We estimated trends from 2002 to 2019 in life expectancy and probabilities of death at different ages for all 6,791 English middle-layer super output areas (MSOAs).Methods: We used de-identified data for all deaths in England from 2002 to 2019 with information on age, sex and MSOA of residence, and population counts by age, sex and MSOA. We used a Bayesian hierarchical model to obtain estimates of age-specific death rates by sharing information across age groups, MSOAs and years. We used life table methods to calculate life expectancy at birth and probabilities of death in different ages by sex and MSOA.Results: In 2002-2006 and 2006-2010, the vast majority of MSOAs experienced a life expectancy increase for both sexes. In 2010-2014, female life expectancy decreased in 351 (5%) of MSOAs. By 2014-2019, the number of MSOAs with declining life expectancy was 1,270 (19%) for women and 784 (12%) for men. The life expectancy increase from 2002 to 2019 was smaller where life expectancy had been lower in 2002, mostly northern urban MSOAs, and larger where life expectancy had been higher in 2002, mostly MSOAs in and around London. As a result of these trends, the gap between the 1st and 99th percentiles of MSOA life expectancy for women increased from 10.7 (95% credible interval 10.4-10.9) in 2002 to reach 14.2 (13.9-14.5) years in 2019, and from 11.5 (11.3-11.7) years to 13.6 (13.4-13.9) years for men. Interpretation: In many English communities, life expectancy declined in the years prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. To ensure that this trend does not continue there is a need for pro-equity economic and social policies, and greater investment on public health and healthcare.
Hamilton SA, Jarhyan P, Fecht D, et al., 2021, Environmental risk factors for reduced kidney function due to undetermined cause in India: an environmental epidemiologic analysis., Environmental Epidemiology, Vol: 5, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 2474-7882
Background: An epidemic of chronic kidney disease is occurring in rural communities in low-income and middle-income countries that do not share common kidney disease risk factors such as diabetes and hypertension. This chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology occurs primarily in agricultural communities in Central America and South Asia. Consequently, environmental risk factors including heat stress, heavy metals exposure, and low altitude have been hypothesized as risk factors. We conducted an environmental epidemiological analysis investigating these exposures in India which reports the disease. Methods: We used a random sample population in rural and urban sites in Northern and Southern India in 2010, 2011, and 2014 (n = 11,119). We investigated associations of the heat index, altitude, and vicinity to cropland with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) using satellite-derived data assigned to residential coordinates. We modeled these exposures with eGFR using logistic regression to estimate the risk of low eGFR, and linear mixed models (LMMs) to analyze site-specific eGFR-environment associations. Results: Being over 55 years of age, male, and living in proximity to cropland was associated with increased risk of low eGFR [odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.24 (1.43, 3.56), 2.32 (1.39, 3.88), and 1.47 (1.16, 2.36)], respectively. In LMMs, vicinity to cropland was associated with low eGFR [-0.80 (-0.44, -0.14)]. No associations were observed with temperature or altitude. Conclusions: Older age, being male, and living in proximity to cropland were negatively associated with eGFR. These analyses are important in identifying subcommunities at higher risk and can help direct future environmental investigations.
Strak M, Weinmayr G, Rodopoulou S, et al., 2021, Long term exposure to low level air pollution and mortality in eight European cohorts within the ELAPSE project: pooled analysis, BMJ: British Medical Journal, Vol: 374, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 0959-535X
Objective To investigate the associations between air pollution and mortality, focusing on associations below current European Union, United States, and World Health Organization standards and guidelines.Design Pooled analysis of eight cohorts.Setting Multicentre project Effects of Low-Level Air Pollution: A Study in Europe (ELAPSE) in six European countries.Participants 325 367 adults from the general population recruited mostly in the 1990s or 2000s with detailed lifestyle data. Stratified Cox proportional hazard models were used to analyse the associations between air pollution and mortality. Western Europe-wide land use regression models were used to characterise residential air pollution concentrations of ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and black carbon.Main outcome measures Deaths due to natural causes and cause specific mortality.Results Of 325 367 adults followed-up for an average of 19.5 years, 47 131 deaths were observed. Higher exposure to PM2.5, nitrogen dioxide, and black carbon was associated with significantly increased risk of almost all outcomes. An increase of 5 µg/m3 in PM2.5 was associated with 13% (95% confidence interval 10.6% to 15.5%) increase in natural deaths; the corresponding figure for a 10 µg/m3 increase in nitrogen dioxide was 8.6% (7% to 10.2%). Associations with PM2.5, nitrogen dioxide, and black carbon remained significant at low concentrations. For participants with exposures below the US standard of 12 µg/m3 an increase of 5 µg/m3 in PM2.5 was associated with 29.6% (14% to 47.4%) increase in natural deaths.Conclusions Our study contributes to the evidence that outdoor air pollution is associated with mortality even at low pollution levels below the current European and North American standards and WHO guideline values. These findings are therefore an important contribution to the debate about revision of air quality limits, guidelines, and standards, an
Wolf K, Hoffmann B, Andersen ZJ, et al., 2021, Long-term exposure to low-level ambient air pollution and incidence of stroke and coronary heart disease: a pooled analysis of six European cohorts within the ELAPSE project, The Lancet Planetary Health, Vol: 5, Pages: e620-e632, ISSN: 2542-5196
BACKGROUND: Long-term exposure to outdoor air pollution increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, but evidence is unclear on the health effects of exposure to pollutant concentrations lower than current EU and US standards and WHO guideline limits. Within the multicentre study Effects of Low-Level Air Pollution: A Study in Europe (ELAPSE), we investigated the associations of long-term exposures to fine particulate matter (PM2·5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), black carbon, and warm-season ozone (O3) with the incidence of stroke and acute coronary heart disease. METHODS: We did a pooled analysis of individual data from six population-based cohort studies within ELAPSE, from Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany (recruited 1992-2004), and harmonised individual and area-level variables between cohorts. Participants (all adults) were followed up until migration from the study area, death, or incident stroke or coronary heart disease, or end of follow-up (2011-15). Mean 2010 air pollution concentrations from centrally developed European-wide land use regression models were assigned to participants' baseline residential addresses. We used Cox proportional hazards models with increasing levels of covariate adjustment to investigate the association of air pollution exposure with incidence of stroke and coronary heart disease. We assessed the shape of the concentration-response function and did subset analyses of participants living at pollutant concentrations lower than predefined values. FINDINGS: From the pooled ELAPSE cohorts, data on 137 148 participants were analysed in our fully adjusted model. During a median follow-up of 17·2 years (IQR 13·8-19·5), we observed 6950 incident events of stroke and 10 071 incident events of coronary heart disease. Incidence of stroke was associated with PM2·5 (hazard ratio 1·10 [95% CI 1·01-1·21] per 5 μg/m3 increase), NO2 (1·08 [1·04-1·12] per 10 μ
Davies B, Parkes B, Bennett J, et al., 2021, Community factors and excess mortality in first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in England, Nature Communications, ISSN: 2041-1723
Risk factors for increased risk of death from Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) have been identified but less is known on characteristics that make communities resilient or vulnerable to the mortality impacts of the pandemic. We applied a two-stage Bayesian spatial model to quantify inequalities in excess mortality at the community level during the first wave of the pandemic in England. We used geocoded data on all deaths in people aged 40 years and older during March-May 2020 compared with 2015-2019 in 6,791 local communities. Here we show that communities with an increased risk of excess mortality had a high density of care homes, and/or high proportion of residents on income support, living in overcrowded homes and/or high percent of people with a non-White ethnicity (including Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups). Conversely, after accounting for other community characteristics, we found no association between population density or air pollution and excess mortality. Overall, the social and environmental variables accounted for around 15% of the variation in mortality at community level. Effective and timely public health and healthcare measures that target the communities at greatest risk are urgently needed if England and other industrialised countries are to avoid further widening of inequalities in mortality patterns as the pandemic progresses.
Liu S, Jørgensen JT, Ljungman P, et al., 2021, Long-term exposure to low-level air pollution and incidence of asthma: the ELAPSE project, European Respiratory Journal, Vol: 57, ISSN: 0903-1936
BACKGROUND: Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution has been linked to childhood-onset asthma, while evidence is still insufficient. Within the multicentre project "Effects of Low-Level Air Pollution: A Study in Europe" (ELAPSE), we examined the associations of long-term exposures to particulate matter with diameter<2.5 µm (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and black carbon (BC) with asthma incidence in adults. METHODS: We pooled data from three cohorts in Denmark and Sweden with information on asthma hospital diagnoses. The average concentrations of air pollutants in 2010 were modelled by hybrid land use regression models at participants' baseline residential addresses. Associations of air pollution exposures with asthma incidence were explored with Cox proportional hazard models, adjusting for potential confounders. RESULTS: Of 98 326 participants, 1965 developed asthma during a 16.6 years mean follow-up. We observed associations in fully adjusted models with hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals of 1.22 (1.04-1.43) per 5 μg·m-3 for PM2.5, 1.17 (1.10-1.25) per 10 µg·m-3 for NO2, and 1.15 (1.08-1.23) per 0.5 10-5 m-1 for BC. Hazard ratios were larger in cohort subsets with exposure levels below the EU and US limit values and possibly WHO guidelines for PM2.5 and NO2. NO2 and BC estimates remained unchanged in two-pollutant models with PM2.5, whereas PM2.5 estimates were attenuated to unity. The concentration response curves showed no evidence of a threshold. CONCLUSIONS: Long-term exposure to air pollution, especially from fossil fuel combustion sources such as motorised traffic, was associated with adult-onset asthma, even at levels below the current limit values.
Kupcikova Z, Fecht D, Ramakrishnan R, et al., 2021, Road traffic noise and cardiovascular disease risk factors in UK Biobank, European Heart Journal, Vol: 42, Pages: 2072-2084, ISSN: 0195-668X
Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate the cross-sectional associations of modelled residential road traffic noise with cardiovascular disease risk factors [systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), C-reactive protein, triglycerides, glycated haemoglobin, and self-reported hypertension] in UK Biobank.Methods and results: The UK Biobank recruited 502 651 individuals aged 40–69 years across the UK during 2006–10. Road traffic noise (Lden and Lnight) exposure for 2009 was estimated at baseline address using a simplified version of the Common Noise Assessment Methods model. We used multivariable linear and logistic regression models, adjusting for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol intake, area- and individual-level deprivation, season of blood draw, length of time at residence, and nitrogen dioxide (main model), in an analytical sample size of over 370 000 participants. Exposure to road-traffic Lden >65 dB[A], as compared to ≤55 dB[A], was associated with 0.77% [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.60%, 0.95%], 0.49% (95% CI 0.32%, 0.65%), 0.79% (95% CI 0.11%, 1.47%), and 0.12% (95% CI −0.04%, 0.28%) higher SBP, DBP, triglycerides, and glycated haemoglobin, respectively. Removing BMI from the main model yielded significant positive associations with all five markers with elevated percent changes. The associations with SBP or DBP did not appear to be impacted by hypertension medication while a positive association with prevalent self-reported hypertension was seen in the non-medicated group who exposed to a Lden level of 60–65 dB[A] (odds ratio 1.07, 95% CI 1.00, 1.15).Conclusion: Exposure to road traffic noise >65 dB[A], independent of nitrogen dioxide, was associated with small but adverse changes in blood pressure and cardiovascular biochemistry.
Tayal U, Fecht D, Chadeau-Hyam M, et al., 2021, AIR POLLUTION AND ADVERSE CARDIAC REMODELLING IN PATIENTS WITH DILATED CARDIOMYOPATHY, 70th Annual Scientific Session and Expo of the American-College-of-Cardiology (ACC), Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, Pages: 600-600, ISSN: 0735-1097
Chen J, Rodopoulou S, de Hoogh K, et al., 2021, Long-term exposure to fine particle elemental components and natural and cause-specific mortality-a pooled analysis of eight European cohorts within the ELAPSE project., Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol: 129, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 0091-6765
BACKGROUND: Inconsistent associations between long-term exposure to particles with an aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 μ m [fine particulate matter ( PM 2.5 )] components and mortality have been reported, partly related to challenges in exposure assessment. OBJECTIVES: We investigated the associations between long-term exposure to PM 2.5 elemental components and mortality in a large pooled European cohort; to compare health effects of PM 2.5
Shoari N, Ezzati M, Doyle YG, et al., 2021, Nowhere to play: available open and green space in Greater London schools, Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, Vol: 98, Pages: 375-384, ISSN: 1099-3460
Experiencing outdoor space, especially natural space, during childhood and adolescence has beneficial physical and mental health effects, including improved cognitive and motor skills and a lower risk of obesity. Since school-age children typically spend 35–40 hours per week at schools, we quantified their access to open (non-built-up) space and green space at schools in Greater London. We linked land use information from the UK Ordnance Survey with school characteristics from the Department for Education (DfE) for schools in Greater London. We estimated open space by isolating land and water features within school boundaries and, as a subset of open space, green space defined as open space covered by vegetation. We examined the relationship of both school open and green space with distance to Central London, whether the school was fee-paying, and the percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals (as a school-level indicator of socioeconomic status). Almost 400,000 pupils (30% of all pupils in London) attended schools with less than ten square metre per pupil of open space—the minimum recommended area by DfE—and 800,000 pupils attended schools with less than ten square metre per pupil of green space. Of the latter, 70% did not have any public parks in the immediate vicinity of their schools. School green space increased with distance from Central London. There was a weak association between the school-level socioeconomic indicator and the amount of open and green space. Fee-paying schools provided less open space compared to non-fee-paying schools in central parts of London, but the provision became comparable in suburban London. Many London schools do not provide enough open and green space. There is a need to ensure regular contact with green space through safeguarding school grounds from sales, financially supporting disadvantaged schools to increase their outdoor space and providing access to off-site facilities such as sharing outdoor sp
Hvidtfeldt UA, Chen J, Andersen ZJ, et al., 2021, Long-term exposure to fine particle elemental components and lung cancer incidence in the ELAPSE pooled cohort, Environmental Research, Vol: 193, ISSN: 0013-9351
BACKGROUND: An association between long-term exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and lung cancer has been established in previous studies. PM2.5 is a complex mixture of chemical components from various sources and little is known about whether certain components contribute specifically to the associated lung cancer risk. The present study builds on recent findings from the "Effects of Low-level Air Pollution: A Study in Europe" (ELAPSE) collaboration and addresses the potential association between specific elemental components of PM2.5 and lung cancer incidence. METHODS: We pooled seven cohorts from across Europe and assigned exposure estimates for eight components of PM2.5 representing non-tail pipe emissions (copper (Cu), iron (Fe), and zinc (Zn)), long-range transport (sulfur (S)), oil burning/industry emissions (nickel (Ni), vanadium (V)), crustal material (silicon (Si)), and biomass burning (potassium (K)) to cohort participants' baseline residential address based on 100 m by 100 m grids from newly developed hybrid models combining air pollution monitoring, land use data, satellite observations, and dispersion model estimates. We applied stratified Cox proportional hazards models, adjusting for potential confounders (age, sex, calendar year, marital status, smoking, body mass index, employment status, and neighborhood-level socio-economic status). RESULTS: The pooled study population comprised 306,550 individuals with 3916 incident lung cancer events during 5,541,672 person-years of follow-up. We observed a positive association between exposure to all eight components and lung cancer incidence, with adjusted HRs of 1.10 (95% CI 1.05, 1.16) per 50 ng/m3 PM2.5 K, 1.09 (95% CI 1.02, 1.15) per 1 ng/m3 PM2.5 Ni, 1.22 (95% CI 1.11, 1.35) per 200 ng/m3 PM2.5 S, and 1.07 (95% CI 1.02, 1.12) per 200 ng/m3 PM2.5 V. Effect estimates were largely unaffected by adjustment for nitrogen dioxide (NO2). After adjust
Samoli E, Rodopoulou S, Hvidtfeldt UA, et al., 2021, Modeling multi-level survival data in multi-center epidemiological cohort studies: Applications from the ELAPSE project, Environment International, Vol: 147, Pages: 106371-106371, ISSN: 0160-4120
BACKGROUND: We evaluated methods for the analysis of multi-level survival data using a pooled dataset of 14 cohorts participating in the ELAPSE project investigating associations between residential exposure to low levels of air pollution (PM2.5 and NO2) and health (natural-cause mortality and cerebrovascular, coronary and lung cancer incidence). METHODS: We applied five approaches in a multivariable Cox model to account for the first level of clustering corresponding to cohort specification: (1) not accounting for the cohort or using (2) indicator variables, (3) strata, (4) a frailty term in frailty Cox models, (5) a random intercept under a mixed Cox, for cohort identification. We accounted for the second level of clustering due to common characteristics in the residential area by (1) a random intercept per small area or (2) applying variance correction. We assessed the stratified, frailty and mixed Cox approach through simulations under different scenarios for heterogeneity in the underlying hazards and the air pollution effects. RESULTS: Effect estimates were stable under approaches used to adjust for cohort but substantially differed when no adjustment was applied. Further adjustment for the small area grouping increased the effect estimates' standard errors. Simulations confirmed identical results between the stratified and frailty models. In ELAPSE we selected a stratified multivariable Cox model to account for between-cohort heterogeneity without adjustment for small area level, due to the small number of subjects and events in the latter. CONCLUSIONS: Our study supports the need to account for between-cohort heterogeneity in multi-center collaborations using pooled individual level data.
Osibona O, Solomon B, Fecht D, 2021, Lighting in the home and health: a systematic review, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol: 18, ISSN: 1660-4601
Poor housing is an important determinant of poor health. One key aspect of housing quality is lighting. Light is important for visual performance and safety, and also plays a vital role in regulating human physiological functions. This review aims to synthesise existing evidence on the relationship between lighting in the home and health and recommends areas for future research. Three databases were searched for relevant literature using pre-defined inclusion criteria. Study quality was assessed using the Newcastle Ottawa Scale. Extracted data were qualitatively synthesised according to type of lighting (natural light, artificial light and light at night) and stratified by broad health domains (physical, mental and sleep health). Of the 4043 records retrieved, 28 studies met the inclusion criteria. There was considerable heterogeneity in light exposure metrics used and specific health outcome assessed by the studies. Lighting in the home can negatively affect health but the current evidence base is limited to a small number of studies in different domains of light and health. Further research surrounding specific health outcomes is required to better inform housing quality assessments and lighting practises in the home.
Hvidtfeldt UA, Severi G, Andersen ZJ, et al., 2021, Long-term low-level ambient air pollution exposure and risk of lung cancer - A pooled analysis of 7 European cohorts., Environment International, Vol: 146, Pages: 106249-106249, ISSN: 0160-4120
BACKGROUND/AIM: Ambient air pollution has been associated with lung cancer, but the shape of the exposure-response function - especially at low exposure levels - is not well described. The aim of this study was to address the relationship between long-term low-level air pollution exposure and lung cancer incidence. METHODS: The "Effects of Low-level Air Pollution: a Study in Europe" (ELAPSE) collaboration pools seven cohorts from across Europe. We developed hybrid models combining air pollution monitoring, land use data, satellite observations, and dispersion model estimates for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), black carbon (BC), and ozone (O3) to assign exposure to cohort participants' residential addresses in 100 m by 100 m grids. We applied stratified Cox proportional hazards models, adjusting for potential confounders (age, sex, calendar year, marital status, smoking, body mass index, employment status, and neighborhood-level socio-economic status). We fitted linear models, linear models in subsets, Shape-Constrained Health Impact Functions (SCHIF), and natural cubic spline models to assess the shape of the association between air pollution and lung cancer at concentrations below existing standards and guidelines. RESULTS: The analyses included 307,550 cohort participants. During a mean follow-up of 18.1 years, 3956 incident lung cancer cases occurred. Median (Q1, Q3) annual (2010) exposure levels of NO2, PM2.5, BC and O3 (warm season) were 24.2 µg/m3 (19.5, 29.7), 15.4 µg/m3 (12.8, 17.3), 1.6 10-5m-1 (1.3, 1.8), and 86.6 µg/m3 (78.5, 92.9), respectively. We observed a higher risk for lung cancer with higher exposure to PM2.5 (HR: 1.13, 95% CI: 1.05, 1.23 per 5 µg/m3). This association was robust to adjustment for other pollutants. The SCHIF, spline and subset analyses suggested a linear or supra-linear association with no evidence of a threshold. In subset analyses, ris
Liu S, Jørgensen JT, Ljungman P, et al., 2021, Long-term exposure to low-level air pollution and incidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: The ELAPSE project., Environment International, Vol: 146, Pages: 1-8, ISSN: 0160-4120
BACKGROUND: Air pollution has been suggested as a risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but evidence is sparse and inconsistent. OBJECTIVES: We examined the association between long-term exposure to low-level air pollution and COPD incidence. METHODS: Within the 'Effects of Low-Level Air Pollution: A Study in Europe' (ELAPSE) study, we pooled data from three cohorts, from Denmark and Sweden, with information on COPD hospital discharge diagnoses. Hybrid land use regression models were used to estimate annual mean concentrations of particulate matter with a diameter < 2.5 µm (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and black carbon (BC) in 2010 at participants' baseline residential addresses, which were analysed in relation to COPD incidence using Cox proportional hazards models. RESULTS: Of 98,058 participants, 4,928 developed COPD during 16.6 years mean follow-up. The adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals for associations with COPD incidence were 1.17 (1.06, 1.29) per 5 µg/m3 for PM2.5, 1.11 (1.06, 1.16) per 10 µg/m3 for NO2, and 1.11 (1.06, 1.15) per 0.5 10-5m-1 for BC. Associations persisted in subset participants with PM2.5 or NO2 levels below current EU and US limit values and WHO guidelines, with no evidence for a threshold. HRs for NO2 and BC remained unchanged in two-pollutant models with PM2.5, whereas the HR for PM2.5 was attenuated to unity with NO2 or BC. CONCLUSIONS: Long-term exposure to low-level air pollution is associated with the development of COPD, even below current EU and US limit values and possibly WHO guidelines. Traffic-related pollutants NO2 and BC may be the most relevant.
Douglas P, Fecht D, Jarvis D, 2020, Characterising populations living close to intensive farming and composting facilities in England, Frontiers of Environmental Science and Engineering, Vol: 15, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 2095-2201
Bioaerosol exposure has been linked to adverse respiratory conditions. Intensive farming and composting facilities are important anthropogenic sources of bioaerosols. We aimed to characterise populations living close to intensive farming and composting facilities. We also infer whether the public are becoming more concerned about anthropogenic bioaerosol emissions, using reports of air pollution related incidents attributed to facilities. We mapped the location of 1,257 intensive farming and 310 composting facilities in England in relation to the resident population and its characteristics (sex and age), area characteristics (deprivation proxy and rural/urban classification) and school locations stratified by pre-defined distance bands from these bioaerosol sources. We also calculated the average number of air pollution related incidents per year per facility. We found that more than 16% of the population and 15% of schools are located within 4,828 m of an intensive farming facility or 4,000 m of a composting facility; few people (0.01 %) live very close to these sites and tend to be older people. Close to composting facilities, populations are more likely to be urban and more deprived. The number of incidents were attributed to a small proportion of facilities; population characteristics around these facilities were similar. Results indicate that populations living near composting facilities (particularly>250 to ⩽ 4,000 m) are mostly located in urban areas (80%–88% of the population), which supports the need for more community health studies to be conducted. Results could also be used to inform risk management strategies at facilities with higher numbers of incidents.
Bakolis I, Hammoud R, Stewart R, et al., 2020, Mental health consequences of urban air pollution: prospective population-based longitudinal survey, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology: the international journal for research in social and genetic epidemiology and mental health services, Vol: 56, Pages: 1587-1599, ISSN: 0933-7954
PURPOSE: The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently ranked air pollution as the major environmental cause of premature death. However, the significant potential health and societal costs of poor mental health in relation to air quality are not represented in the WHO report due to limited evidence. We aimed to test the hypothesis that long-term exposure to air pollution is associated with poor mental health. METHODS: A prospective longitudinal population-based mental health survey was conducted of 1698 adults living in 1075 households in South East London, from 2008 to 2013. High-resolution quarterly average air pollution concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and oxides (NOx), ozone (O3), particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter < 10 μm (PM10) and < 2.5 μm (PM2.5) were linked to the home addresses of the study participants. Associations with mental health were analysed with the use of multilevel generalised linear models, after adjusting for large number of confounders, including the individuals' socioeconomic position and exposure to road-traffic noise. RESULTS: We found robust evidence for interquartile range increases in PM2.5, NOx and NO2 to be associated with 18-39% increased odds of common mental disorders, 19-30% increased odds of poor physical symptoms and 33% of psychotic experiences only for PM10. These longitudinal associations were more pronounced in the subset of non-movers for NO2 and NOx. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that traffic-related air pollution is adversely affecting mental health. Whilst causation cannot be proved, this work suggests substantial morbidity from mental disorders could be avoided with improved air quality.
Shoari N, Ezzati M, Baumgartner J, et al., 2020, Accessibility and allocation of public parks and gardens in England and Wales: a COVID-19 social distancing perspective, PLoS One, Vol: 15, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 1932-6203
Visiting parks and gardens supports physical and mental health. We quantified access to public parks and gardens in urban areas of England and Wales, and the potential for park crowdedness 22during periods of high use. We combined data from the Office for National Statistics and Ordnance Survey to quantify(i) the number of parks within 500and 1,000metresof urban postcodes (i.e., availability), (ii) the distance of postcodes to the nearest park (i.e., accessibility), and (iii) per-capita space in each park for people living within 1,000m.We26examined variability by city and share of flats. Around 25.4 million people(~87%) can access public parks or gardens within a ten-minute walk, while 3.8 million residents (~13%) live farther away; of these 21% are children and 13% are elderly. Areas with a higher share of flats on average are closer to a park but people living in these areas visit parks that are potentially overcrowded during periods of high use. Such disparity in urban areas of England and Wales becomes particularly evident during COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown when local parks, the only available out-of-home space option, hinder social distancing requirements. Cities aiming to facilitate social distancing while keeping public green spaces safe might require implementing measures such as dedicated park times for different age groups or entry allocation systems that, combined with smartphone apps or drones, can monitor and manage the total number of people using the park.
Hamilton SA, Nakanga WP, Prynn JE, et al., 2020, Prevalence and risk factors for chronic kidney disease of unknown cause in Malawi: a cross-sectional analysis in a rural and urban population, BMC Nephrology, Vol: 21, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 1471-2369
BackgroundAn epidemic of chronic kidney disease of unknown cause (CKDu) is occurring in rural communities in tropical regions of low-and middle-income countries in South America and India. Little information is available from Southern African countries which have similar climatic and occupational characteristics to CKDu-endemic countries. We investigated whether CKDu is prevalent in Malawi and identified its potential risk factors in this setting.MethodsWe conducted a cross-sectional study from January–August 2018 collecting bio samples and anthropometric data in two Malawian populations. The sample comprised adults > 18 years (n = 821) without diabetes, hypertension, and proteinuria. Estimates of glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) were calculated using the CKD-EPI equation. Linear and logistic regression models were applied with potential risk factors, to estimate risk of reduced eGFR.ResultsThe mean eGFR was 117.1 ± 16.0 ml/min per 1.73m2 and the mean participant age was 33.5 ± 12.7 years. The prevalence of eGFR< 60 was 0.2% (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.1, 0.9); the prevalence of eGFR< 90 was 5% (95% CI =3.2, 6.3). We observed a higher prevalence in the rural population (5% (3.6, 7.8)), versus urban (3% (1.4, 6.7)). Age and BMI were associated with reduced eGFR< 90 [Odds ratio (OR) (95%CI) =3.59 (2.58, 5.21) per ten-year increment]; [OR (95%CI) =2.01 (1.27, 3.43) per 5 kg/m2 increment] respectively. No increased risk of eGFR < 90 was observed for rural participants [OR (95%CI) =1.75 (0.50, 6.30)].ConclusionsReduced kidney function consistent with the definition of CKDu is not common in the areas of Malawi sampled, compared to that observed in other tropical or sub-tropical countries in Central America and South Asia. Reduced eGFR< 90 was related to age, BMI, and was more common in rural areas. These findings are impor
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