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, 22 (3), 227-34

Susceptibility to Air Pollution Effects on Mortality in Seoul, Korea: A Case-Crossover Analysis of Individual-Level Effect Modifiers

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Susceptibility to Air Pollution Effects on Mortality in Seoul, Korea: A Case-Crossover Analysis of Individual-Level Effect Modifiers

Ji-Young Son et al. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol.

Abstract

Air pollution's mortality effects may differ by subpopulation; however, few studies have investigated this issue in Asia. We investigated susceptibility to air pollutants on total, cardiovascular, and respiratory mortality in Seoul, Korea for the period 2000-2007. We applied time-stratified case-crossover analysis, which allows direct modeling of interaction terms, to estimate susceptibility based on sex, age, education, marital status, and occupation. An interquartile range increase in pollution was associated with odds ratios of 0.94 (95% confidence interval, 0.25-1.62), 2.27 (1.03-3.53), 1.94 (0.80-3.09), and 2.21 (1.00-3.43) for total mortality and 1.95 (0.64-3.27), 4.82 (2.18-7.54), 3.64 (1.46-5.87), and 4.32 (1.77-6.92) for cardiovascular mortality for PM(10), nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)), sulfur dioxide (SO(2)), and carbon monoxide (CO), respectively. Ozone effect estimates were positive, but not statistically significant. Results indicate that some populations are more susceptible than others. For total or cardiovascular mortality, associations were higher for males, those 65-74 years, and those with no education or manual occupation for some pollutants. For example, the odds ratio for SO(2) and cardiovascular mortality was 1.19 (1.03-1.37) times higher for those with manual occupations than professional occupations. Our findings provide evidence that some populations are more susceptible to the effects of air pollution than others, which has implications for public policy and risk assessment for susceptible subpopulations.

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Percent change in cause-specific mortality per interquartile range increase in air pollutant concentrations by sex and age (a) PM10, (b) NO2, (c) SO2, and (d) CO. The point represents the central estimate; the vertical line represents the 95% confidence interval. See Supplementary Figure 1 for results for ozone.

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