Linking stroke mortality with air pollution, income, and greenness in northwest Florida: an ecological geographical study

Int J Health Geogr. 2008 May 1:7:20. doi: 10.1186/1476-072X-7-20.


Background: Relatively few studies have examined the association between air pollution and stroke mortality. Inconsistent and inclusive results from existing studies on air pollution and stroke justify the need to continue to investigate the linkage between stroke and air pollution. No studies have been done to investigate the association between stroke and greenness. The objective of this study was to examine if there is association of stroke with air pollution, income and greenness in northwest Florida.

Results: Our study used an ecological geographical approach and dasymetric mapping technique. We adopted a Bayesian hierarchical model with a convolution prior considering five census tract specific covariates. A 95% credible set which defines an interval having a 0.95 posterior probability of containing the parameter for each covariate was calculated from Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulations. The 95% credible sets are (-0.286, -0.097) for household income, (0.034, 0.144) for traffic air pollution effect, (0.419, 1.495) for emission density of monitored point source polluters, (0.413, 1.522) for simple point density of point source polluters without emission data, and (-0.289,-0.031) for greenness. Household income and greenness show negative effects (the posterior densities primarily cover negative values). Air pollution covariates have positive effects (the 95% credible sets cover positive values).

Conclusion: High risk of stroke mortality was found in areas with low income level, high air pollution level, and low level of exposure to green space.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Ecology*
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Maps as Topic
  • Markov Chains
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Particulate Matter / adverse effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Small-Area Analysis
  • Stroke / mortality*
  • Vehicle Emissions


  • Particulate Matter
  • Vehicle Emissions