Short-term associations between emergency hospital admissions for respiratory and cardiovascular disease and outdoor air pollution in London

Arch Environ Health. 1999 Nov-Dec;54(6):398-411. doi: 10.1080/00039899909603371.


There are concerns about the possible short-term effects of outdoor air pollution on health in the United Kingdom. In a study conducted during the time period between 1987 and 1992, investigators determined that ozone had small, but significant effects on emergency respiratory admissions. In the current study, the authors investigated associations between emergency admissions and outdoor air pollution for the time period from 1992 to 1994, inclusive, and compared the results with those obtained in the earlier study. The authors also examined particulate matter less than 10 microm in diameter (PM10) and carbon monoxide in the current study. Appropriate confounding factors, such as seasonal patterns, temperature, and humidity, were controlled for, and the authors used Poisson regression to estimate the association between daily emergency admissions for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, particles measured as Black Smoke, and PM10. Significant positive associations were found between emergency hospital admissions for respiratory disease and PM10 and sulfur dioxide, but such an association did not exist for ozone. The results were not significantly different from earlier results from London and were comparable with those determined in North America and Europe. Cardiovascular disease was associated with carbon monoxide and Black Smoke, but weaker associations existed with the other pollutants studied.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • London / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Meteorological Concepts
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Urban Population


  • Air Pollutants