Traffic Air Pollution and Mortality Rate Advancement Periods
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Chronic exposure to air pollution is associated with increased mortality rates. The impact of air pollution relative to other causes of death in a population is of public health importance and has not been well established. In this study, the rate advancement periods associated with traffic pollution exposures were estimated. Study subjects underwent pulmonary function testing at a clinic in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, between 1985 and 1999. Cox regression was used to model mortality from all natural causes during 1992-2001 in relation to lung function, body mass index, a diagnosis of chronic pulmonary disease, chronic ischemic heart disease, or diabetes mellitus, household income, and residence within 50 m of a major urban road or within 100 m of a highway. Subjects living close to a major road had an increased risk of mortality (relative risk = 1.18, 95% confidence interval: 1.02, 1.38). The mortality rate advancement period associated with residence near a major road was 2.5 years (95% confidence interval: 0.2, 4.8). By comparison, the rate advancement periods attributable to chronic pulmonary disease, chronic ischemic heart disease, and diabetes were 3.4 years, 3.1 years, and 4.4 years, respectively.
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