Association of Fine Particulate Air Pollution With Cardiopulmonary Morbidity in Western Coast of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Med J. 2017 Sep;38(9):905-912. doi: 10.15537/smj.2017.9.18545.


To assess cardiopulmonary morbidity associated with daily exposures to PM2.5 in Western Coast of Saudi Arabia. Methods: We monitored 24-h PM2.5 and its constituents including black carbon (BC), particulate sulfate (p-SO42-), nitrate (p-NO3-), ammonium (p-NH4+) and trace elements (TEs) at a site in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia from May to June 2013 with simultaneous collection of hospital data (N=2513). Cardiopulmonary morbidity risk was determined in a generalized linear time-series model. Results: Exposure to PM2.5 was associated with a 7.6% (p=0.056) increase in risk of respiratory disease (RD) in females. Black carbon increased RD morbidity risk by 68.1% (p=0.056) in females. Exposure to p-SO42- increased the cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk by up to 5.3% (p=0.048) in males; and RD by 2.9% (p=0.037) in females and 2.5% (p=0.022) in males. The p-NH4+ increased CVD risk by up to 20.3% (p=0.033) in males; and RD by 10.7% (p=0.014) in females and 8% (p=0.031) in males. No statistically significant association was observed for p-NO3- and TEs exposure. Conclusion: Overall, results show an increased risk for cardiopulmonary morbidity following exposure to air pollution.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Particulate Matter / toxicity*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Saudi Arabia


  • Particulate Matter