Associations of county-level cumulative environmental quality with mortality of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and mortality of tracheal, bronchus and lung cancers.


Journal Article

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and tracheal, bronchus, and lung (TBL) cancers are among the leading causes of mortality worldwide. Many environmental factors have been linked to COPD and TBL cancers. This study examined the associations of cumulative environmental quality indices with COPD mortality and TBL cancers mortality, respectively. Environmental Quality Index (EQI) was constructed to represent cumulative environmental quality for the overall environment and 5 major environmental domains (e.g., air, water, built). Associations of each EQI indices with COPD mortality and TBL cancers mortality, across 3109 counties in the 48 contiguous states of the US, were examined using simultaneous autoregressive (SAR) models. Stratified analyses were conducted in females versus males and according to rural-urban continuum codes (RUCC) to assess the heterogeneity across the overall population. Overall poor environmental quality was associated with a percent difference (PD) of 0.75 [95% confidence intervals (95% CI), 0.46, 1.05] in COPD mortality and an PD of 1.22 (95% CI, 0.97, 1.46) in TBL cancers mortality. PDs were higher in females than in males for both COPD and TBL cancers. The built domain had the largest effect on COPD mortality (PD, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.58, 1.12) while the air domain had the largest effect on TBL cancers mortality (PD, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.31, 1.76). The EQI-mortality associations varied among different RUCCs, but no consistent trend was found. This result suggests that poor environmental quality, particularly poor air quality and built environment quality may increase the mortality risk for COPD and that for TBL cancers. Females appear to be more susceptible to the effect of cumulative environmental quality. Our findings highlight the importance of improving overall and domain-specific cumulative environmental quality in reducing COPD and TBL cancer mortalities in the United States.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Li, X; Xiao, J; Huang, M; Liu, T; Guo, L; Zeng, W; Chen, Q; Zhang, J; Ma, W

Published Date

  • February 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 703 /

Start / End Page

  • 135523 -

PubMed ID

  • 31767293

Pubmed Central ID

  • 31767293

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1026

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0048-9697

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135523


  • eng