Temperature, air pollution, and hospitalization for cardiovascular diseases among elderly people in Denver

Environ Health Perspect. 2003 Aug;111(10):1312-7. doi: 10.1289/ehp.5957.


Daily measures of maximum temperature, particulate matter less than or equal to 10 micro m in aerodynamic diameter (PM10), and gaseous pollution (ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide) were collected in Denver, Colorado, in July and August between 1993 and 1997. We then compared these exposures with concurrent data on the number of daily hospital admissions for cardiovascular diseases in men and women > 65 years of age. Generalized linear models, assuming a Poisson error structure for the selected cardiovascular disease hospital admissions, were constructed to evaluate the associations with air pollution and temperature. After adjusting the admission data for yearly trends, day-of-week effects, ambient maximum temperature, and dew point temperature, we studied the associations of the pollutants in single-pollutant models with lag times of 0-4 days. The results suggest that O3 is associated with an increase in the risk of hospitalization for acute myocardial infarction, coronary atherosclerosis, and pulmonary heart disease. SO2 appears to be related to increased hospital stays for cardiac dysrhythmias, and CO is significantly associated with congestive heart failure. No association was found between particulate matter or NO2 and any of the health outcomes. Males tend to have higher numbers of hospital admissions than do females for all of the selected cardiovascular diseases, except for congestive heart failure. Higher temperatures appear to be an important factor in increasing the frequency of hospitalization for acute myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure, and are associated with a decrease in the frequency of visits for coronary atherosclerosis and pulmonary heart disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Air Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy*
  • Colorado
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Temperature*