Associations between air pollution and mortality in Phoenix, 1995-1997

Environ Health Perspect. 2000 Apr;108(4):347-53. doi: 10.1289/ehp.00108347.


We evaluated the association between mortality outcomes in elderly individuals and particulate matter (PM) of varying aerodynamic diameters (in micrometers) [PM(10), PM(2.5), and PM(CF )(PM(10) minus PM(2.5))], and selected particulate and gaseous phase pollutants in Phoenix, Arizona, using 3 years of daily data (1995-1997). Although source apportionment and epidemiologic methods have been previously combined to investigate the effects of air pollution on mortality, this is the first study to use detailed PM composition data in a time-series analysis of mortality. Phoenix is in the arid Southwest and has approximately 1 million residents (9. 7% of the residents are > 65 years of age). PM data were obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Exposure Research Laboratory Platform in central Phoenix. We obtained gaseous pollutant data, specifically carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and sulfur dioxide data, from the EPA Aerometric Information Retrieval System Database. We used Poisson regression analysis to evaluate the associations between air pollution and nonaccidental mortality and cardiovascular mortality. Total mortality was significantly associated with CO and NO(2) (p < 0.05) and weakly associated with SO(2), PM(10), and PM(CF) (p < 0. 10). Cardiovascular mortality was significantly associated with CO, NO(2), SO(2), PM(2.5), PM(10), PM(CF) (p < 0.05), and elemental carbon. Factor analysis revealed that both combustion-related pollutants and secondary aerosols (sulfates) were associated with cardiovascular mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Air Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Arizona / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cause of Death
  • Databases, Factual
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mortality / trends*
  • Particle Size
  • Regression Analysis