Long-term exposure to PM2.5 and incidence of disability in activities of daily living among oldest old.


Journal Article

Currently the Chinese government has adopted World Health Organization interim target-1 values as the national ambient air quality standards values. However, the population-based evidence was insufficient, especially for the oldest old (aged 80+). We evaluated the association of fine particulate matters (PM2.5) exposure and incidence of disability in activities of daily living (ADL) in 15 453 oldest old in 886 counties/cities in China from 2002 to 2014 using Cox model with penalized splines and competing risk models to evaluate the linear or non-linear association. After adjusting for potential confounders, a J-shaped association existed between PM2.5 exposure with a threshold concentration of 33 μg/m3, and incident disability in ADL. Above this threshold, the risk magnitude significantly increased with increase of PM2.5 concentrations; compared to 33 μg/m3, the hazard ratio ranged from 1.03 (1.00-1.06) at 40 μg/m3 to 2.25 (1.54-3.29) at 110 μg/m3. The risk magnitude was not significantly changed below this threshold. Each 10 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 exposure corresponded to a 7.7% increase in the risk of disability in ADL (hazard ratio 1.077, 95% CI 1.051-1.104). Men, smokers, and participants with cognitive impairment might be more vulnerable to PM2.5 exposure. The study provided limited population-based evidence for the oldest old and detected a threshold of 33 μg/m3, and supported that reduction to current World Health Organization interim target-1value (35 μg/m3) and Chinese national ambient air quality standards (35 μg/m3) or lower may be associated with lower risk of disability in ADL.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lv, Y; Zhou, J; Kraus, VB; Li, T; Sarnat, JA; Wang, J; Liu, Y; Chen, H; Brasher, MS; Mao, C; Zeng, Y; Zheng, T; Shi, X

Published Date

  • April 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 259 /

Start / End Page

  • 113910 -

PubMed ID

  • 32023791

Pubmed Central ID

  • 32023791

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-6424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.113910


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England