The lag structure between particulate air pollution and respiratory and cardiovascular deaths in 10 US cities

J Occup Environ Med. 2001 Nov;43(11):927-33. doi: 10.1097/00043764-200111000-00001.


To assess differences in the lag structure pattern between particulate matter < 10 microns/100 microns in diameter (PM10) and cause-specific mortality, we performed a time-series analysis in 10 US cities using generalized additive Poisson regressions in each city; nonparametric smooth functions were used to control for long time trend, weather, and day of the week. The PM10 effect was estimated based on its daily mean, 2-day moving average, and the cumulative 7-day effect by means of an unconstrained distributed lag model. A 10-microgram/m3 increase in the 7-day mean of PM10 was associated with increases in deaths due to pneumonia (2.7%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.5, 3.9), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (1.7%, 95% CI: 0.1, 3.3), and all cardiovascular diseases (1.0%, 95% CI: 0.6, 1.4). A 10-microgram/m3 increase in the 2-day mean of PM10 was associated with a 0.7% (95% CI: 0.3, 1.1) increase in deaths from myocardial infarction. When the distributed lag was assessed, two different patterns could be observed: respiratory deaths were more affected by air pollution levels on the previous days, whereas cardiovascular deaths were more affected by same-day pollution. These results contribute to the overall efforts so far in understanding how exposure to air pollution promotes adverse health effects.

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

  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Particle Size
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Regression Analysis
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / mortality*
  • Risk Factors
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urban Population
  • Weather


  • Air Pollutants