Exposure-response functions for health effects of ambient air pollution applicable for China -- a meta-analysis

Sci Total Environ. 2004 Aug 15;329(1-3):3-16. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2004.03.008.


Assessing the benefits of projects and policies to reduce air pollution requires quantitative knowledge about the relationship between exposure to air pollution and public health. This article proposes exposure-response functions for health effects of PM10 and SO2 pollution in China. The functions are based on Chinese epidemiological studies, and cover mortality, hospital admissions, and chronic respiratory symptoms and diseases. We derive the following coefficients for acute effects: a 0.03% (S.E. 0.01) and a 0.04% (S.E. 0.01) increase in all-cause mortality per microg/m3 PM10 and SO2, respectively, a 0.04% (S.E. 0.01) increase in cardiovascular deaths per microg/m3 for both PM10 and SO2, and a 0.06% (S.E. 0.02) and a 0.10% (S.E. 0.02) increase in respiratory deaths per microg/m3 PM10 and SO2, respectively. For hospital admissions due to cardiovascular diseases the obtained coefficients are 0.07% (S.E. 0.02) and 0.19% (S.E. 0.03) for PM10 and SO2, respectively, whereas the coefficients for hospital admissions due to respiratory diseases are 0.12% (S.E. 0.02) and 0.15% (S.E. 0.03) for PM10 and SO2, respectively. Exposure-response functions for the impact of long-term PM10 levels on the prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms and diseases are derived from the results of cross-sectional questionnaire surveys, and indicate a 0.31% (S.E. 0.01) increase per microg/m3 in adults and 0.44% (S.E. 0.02) per microg/m3 in children. With some exceptions, Chinese studies report somewhat lower exposure-response coefficients as compared to studies in Europe and USA.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / poisoning*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • China
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Particle Size
  • Public Health*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / mortality
  • Sulfur Dioxide / poisoning*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Sulfur Dioxide