SummaryBackgroundAlthough studies have provided estimates of premature deaths attributable to either heat or cold in selected countries, none has so far offered a systematic assessment across the whole temperature range in populations exposed to different climates. We aimed to quantify the total mortality burden attributable to non-optimum ambient temperature, and the relative contributions from heat and cold and from moderate and extreme temperatures.MethodsWe collected data for 384 locations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, and USA. We fitted a standard time-series Poisson model for each location, controlling for trends and day of the week. We estimated temperature–mortality associations with a distributed lag non-linear model with 21 days of lag, and then pooled them in a multivariate metaregression that included country indicators and temperature average and range. We calculated attributable deaths for heat and cold, defined as temperatures above and below the optimum temperature, which corresponded to the point of minimum mortality, and for moderate and extreme temperatures, defined using cutoffs at the 2·5th and 97·5th temperature percentiles.FindingsWe analysed 74 225 200 deaths in various periods between 1985 and 2012. In total, 7·71% (95% empirical CI 7·43–7·91) of mortality was attributable to non-optimum temperature in the selected countries within the study period, with substantial differences between countries, ranging from 3·37% (3·06 to 3·63) in Thailand to 11·00% (9·29 to 12·47) in China. The temperature percentile of minimum mortality varied from roughly the 60th percentile in tropical areas to about the 80–90th percentile in temperate regions. More temperature-attributable deaths were caused by cold (7·29%, 7·02–7·49) than by heat (0·42%, 0·39–0·44). Extreme cold and hot temperatures were responsible for 0·86% (0·84–0·87) of total mortality.InterpretationMost of the temperature-related mortality burden was attributable to the contribution of cold. The effect of days of extreme temperature was substantially less than that attributable to milder but non-optimum weather. This evidence has important implications for the planning of public-health interventions to minimise the health consequences of adverse temperatures, and for predictions of future effect in climate-change scenarios.FundingUK Medical Research Council.
Autopsies have shown that the main pathological changes associated with S-OIV infection are localized to the lungs, where three distinct histological patterns can be identified. We also show evidence of ongoing pulmonary aberrant immune response. Our results reinforce the usefulness of autopsy in increasing the understanding of the novel human influenza A (H1N1) infection.
People have some ability to adapt to their local climate type, but both cold and hot temperatures are still associated with increased risk of mortality. Public health strategies to alleviate the impact of ambient temperatures are important, in particular in the context of climate change.
Background: Particulate matter (PM) in outdoor air pollution was recently designated a Group I carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). This determination was based on the evidence regarding the relationship of PM2.5 and PM10 to lung cancer risk; however, the IARC evaluation did not include a quantitative summary of the evidence.Objective: Our goal was to provide a systematic review and quantitative summary of the evidence regarding the relationship between PM and lung cancer.Methods: We conducted meta-analyses of studies examining the relationship of exposure to PM2.5 and PM10 with lung cancer incidence and mortality. In total, 18 studies met our inclusion criteria and provided the information necessary to estimate the change in lung cancer risk per 10-μg/m3 increase in exposure to PM. We used random-effects analyses to allow between-study variability to contribute to meta-estimates.Results: The meta-relative risk for lung cancer associated with PM2.5 was 1.09 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.14). The meta-relative risk of lung cancer associated with PM10 was similar, but less precise: 1.08 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.17). Estimates were robust to restriction to studies that considered potential confounders, as well as subanalyses by exposure assessment method. Analyses by smoking status showed that lung cancer risk associated with PM2.5 was greatest for former smokers [1.44 (95% CI: 1.04, 2.01)], followed by never-smokers [1.18 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.39)], and then current smokers [1.06 (95% CI: 0.97, 1.15)]. In addition, meta-estimates for adenocarcinoma associated with PM2.5 and PM10 were 1.40 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.83) and 1.29 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.63), respectively.Conclusion: The results of these analyses, and the decision of the IARC Working Group to classify PM and outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic (Group 1), further justify efforts to reduce exposures to air pollutants that can arise from many sources.Citation: Hamra GB, Guha N, Cohen A, Laden F, Raaschou-Nielsen O, Samet JM, Vineis P, Forastiere F, Saldiva P, Yorifuji T, Loomis D. 2014. Outdoor particulate matter exposure and lung cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Environ Health Perspect 122:906–911; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1408092
Background:Few studies have examined variation in the associations between heat waves and mortality in an international context.Objectives:We aimed to systematically examine the impacts of heat waves on mortality with lag effects internationally.Methods:We collected daily data of temperature and mortality from 400 communities in 18 countries/regions and defined 12 types of heat waves by combining community-specific daily mean temperature ≥90th, 92.5th, 95th, and 97.5th percentiles of temperature with duration ≥2, 3, and 4 d. We used time-series analyses to estimate the community-specific heat wave–mortality relation over lags of 0–10 d. Then, we applied meta-analysis to pool heat wave effects at the country level for cumulative and lag effects for each type of heat wave definition.Results:Heat waves of all definitions had significant cumulative associations with mortality in all countries, but varied by community. The higher the temperature threshold used to define heat waves, the higher heat wave associations on mortality. However, heat wave duration did not modify the impacts. The association between heat waves and mortality appeared acutely and lasted for 3 and 4 d. Heat waves had higher associations with mortality in moderate cold and moderate hot areas than cold and hot areas. There were no added effects of heat waves on mortality in all countries/regions, except for Brazil, Moldova, and Taiwan. Heat waves defined by daily mean and maximum temperatures produced similar heat wave–mortality associations, but not daily minimum temperature.Conclusions:Results indicate that high temperatures create a substantial health burden, and effects of high temperatures over consecutive days are similar to what would be experienced if high temperature days occurred independently. People living in moderate cold and moderate hot areas are more sensitive to heat waves than those living in cold and hot areas. Daily mean and maximum temperatures had similar ability to define heat waves rather than minimum temperature. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP1026
The relationship between daily mortality of elderly (65+ y) persons and air pollution in the metropolitan area of Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the period May 1990 to April 1991 was evaluated by time series regression, controlling for season, weather, and other factors. Mortality was associated with respirable particles (PM10), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and carbon monoxide (CO). The association with PM10 was most statistically significant, robust, and independent of other air pollutants. An increase in PM10 equal to 100 micrograms/m3 was associated with an increase in overall mortality equal to approximately 13%. This association was consistent across various model specifications and estimation techniques. The dose-response relationship between mortality and respirable particulate pollution was almost linear, with no evidence of a "safe" threshold level. The results were similar to those observed in London and several U.S. cities. The results were also supportive of recent animal studies that have observed adverse health outcomes in experimental animals exposed to air pollution in Sao Paulo.
We analyzed the influence of emissions from burning sugar cane on the respiratory system during almost 1 year in the city of Piracicaba in southeast Brazil. From April 1997 through March 1998, samples of inhalable particles were collected, separated into fine and coarse particulate mode, and analyzed for black carbon and tracer elements. At the same time, we examined daily records of children (< 13 years of age) and elderly people (> 64 years of age) admitted to the hospital because of respiratory diseases. Generalized linear models were adopted with natural cubic splines to control for season and linear terms to control for weather. Analyses were carried out for the entire period, as well as for burning and nonburning periods. Additional models were built using three factors obtained from factor analysis instead of particles or tracer elements. Increases of 10.2 μg/m3 in particles ≥ 2.5 μm/m3 aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) and 42.9 μg/m3 in PM10 were associated with increases of 21.4% [95% confidence interval (CI), 4.3–38.5] and 31.03% (95% CI, 1.25–60.21) in child and elderly respiratory hospital admissions, respectively. When we compared periods, the effects during the burning period were much higher than the effects during nonburning period. Elements generated from sugar cane burning (factor 1) were those most associated with both child and elderly respiratory admissions. Our results show the adverse impact of sugar cane burning emissions on the health of the population, reinforcing the need for public efforts to reduce and eventually eliminate this source of air pollution.
Small airway disease is thought to contribute significantly to functional impairment caused by asthma. Functional evidence of airway-parenchyma uncoupling in asthma, such as loss of deep breath bronchodilator effect in bronchoconstrictive episodes and enhanced airway closure, has been previously demonstrated. Elastic fibers are essential to maintain adequate elastic recoil of the lungs. In this study, we hypothesized that alveolar attachments could be abnormal and that elastic fibers could be damaged in the distal lungs of patients with fatal asthma. For this purpose, we measured the number of abnormal alveolar attachments and quantified the content of elastic fibers in the adventitial layer of small airways and in the peribronchial and distal alveolar septa of 15 patients who died of asthma (FA) and 9 control subjects (CTRL). Our data (geometric mean [range]) showed an increased proportion of abnormal alveolar attachments per centimeter of basement membrane perimeter in fatal asthma (FA, 0.18 [0.03-4.00]; CTRL, 0.00 [0.00-0.12]; p < 0.001) and decreased elastic fiber content in the small airway adventitial layer (FA, 4.08 [2.22-11.46] microm; CTRL, 6.79 [5.62-10.0] microm; p = 0.01) and in the peribronchial alveoli (FA, 1.08 [0.46-1.91] microm; CTRL, 1.81 [1.22-1.74] microm; p = 0.003), but not in the distal alveoli. We propose that structural alterations at the peribronchiolar level might contribute to the pathogenesis of some functional abnormalities observed in patients with severe asthma.
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