OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the association between long-term exposure to black smoke (BS) air pollution and mortality in two related Scottish cohorts with 25 years of follow-up.
METHODS: Risk factors were collected during 1970-1976 for 15331 and 6680 participants in the Renfrew/Paisley and Collaborative cohorts respectively. Exposure to BS during 1970-1979 was estimated by inverse-distance weighted averages of observed concentrations at monitoring sites and by two alternative spatial modelling approaches which included local air quality predictors (LAQP).
RESULTS: Consistent BS-mortality associations (per 10 μg m(-3) increment in 10-year average BS) were observed in the Renfrew/Paisley cohort using LAQP-based exposure models (all-cause mortality HR 1.10 (95% CI 1.04 to 1.17); cardiovascular HR 1.11 (1.01 to 1.22); ischaemic heart disease HR 1.13 (1.02 to 1.25); respiratory HR 1.26 (1.02 to 1.28)). The associations were largely unaffected by additional adjustment for area-level deprivation category. A less consistent and generally implausible pattern of cause-specific BS-mortality associations was found for inverse-distance averaging of BS concentrations at nearby monitoring sites. BS-mortality associations in the Collaborative cohort were weaker and not statistically significant.
CONCLUSIONS: The association between mortality and long-term exposure to BS observed in the Renfrew/Paisley cohort is consistent with hypotheses of how air pollution may affect human health. The dissimilarity in pollution-mortality associations for different exposure models highlights the critical importance of reliable estimation of exposures on intraurban spatial scales to avoid potential misclassification bias.
- Air Pollution
- Cardiovascular Diseases
- Cause of Death
- Cohort Studies
- Environmental Exposure
- Middle Aged
- Respiratory Tract Diseases
- Time Factors