Bronchitis-like symptoms and proximity air pollution in French elderly

Respir Med. 2010 Jun;104(6):880-8. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2010.01.004. Epub 2010 Feb 2.


Background: Our aim was to explore the association between respiratory health and proximity air quality in elderly.

Methods: The prevalence of respiratory conditions was linked in 2104 individuals aged > or =65 years recruited in Bordeaux (3C Study) to home address concentrations of NO2, CO, SO2, fine particles (PM(10)), VOCs and benzene, estimated through a dispersion model combining data on background air pollution, traffic characteristics, and conditions of topographical and meteorological dispersion of air pollutants.

Results: Mean [minimum; maximum] values of the annual concentrations (microg/m(3)) of proximity air pollutants were respectively: 28 [18; 72.2] for NO2, 420 [350; 1337] for CO, 7.5[5; 13.7] for SO2, 23.1 [19; 51] for PM(10), 8.1 [0.01; 116.6] for VOCs and 1.8 [1.5; 6.9] for benzene. Using a binary logistic regression model, PM(10) were significantly associated with usual cough (Odds-Ratio=1.33 (95% confidence interval: 1.00-1.77) for exposed compared to non-exposed) and SO(2) with usual cough (1.55 (1.16-2.08)) and phlegm (1.45 (1.04-2.01)). We found a 10% and a 23% increase in usual cough for a 10microg/m(3) increment in PM(10) and a 1microg/m(3) increment in SO2 respectively, and a 23% increase in usual phlegm for a 1microg/m(3) increase in SO2. A sensitivity analysis showed similar results when considering 3-year proximity pollution. A more pronounced effect of SO2 and PM(10) on usual cough and phlegm was observed in woman.

Conclusions: Our assessment of exposure to proximity air pollution has shown an increased prevalence of bronchitis-like symptoms in elderly living in areas polluted by SO2 and PM(10).

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Air Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Bronchitis / chemically induced*
  • Bronchitis / epidemiology
  • Bronchitis / physiopathology
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Sulfur Dioxide / adverse effects*
  • Time Factors


  • Sulfur Dioxide