Long-term exposure to ozone and cardiovascular mortality in China: a nationwide cohort study.
Journal Article (Journal Article)
BackgroundThe evidence for a causal relationship between long-term ozone exposure and cardiovascular mortality is inconclusive, and most published data are from high-income countries. We aimed to investigate the association between long-term exposure to ozone and cardiovascular mortality in China, the most populous middle-income country.
MethodsWe did a nationwide cohort study comprising Chinese adults aged 18 years and older from the 2010-11 China Chronic Disease and Risk Factors Surveillance project; participants were followed up until Dec 31, 2018, or the date of death. Data on participants' deaths were obtained through linkage to the Disease Surveillance Point system, a national death registration database. Residential ozone exposure was estimated with a previously developed random forest model. We applied stratified Cox proportional hazards models to estimate the associations of ozone with mortality due to overall cardiovascular diseases, ischaemic heart disease, and stroke. The models were stratified by age and sex and adjusted for a set of individual-level and regional covariates. Warm-season average ozone concentration for the previous 1-3 years was added as a time-varying variable. We also did subgroup analyses by age, sex, level of education, smoking status, urban or rural residence, and geographical region.
FindingsData were analysed for 96 955 participants. The warm-season average ozone concentration during the follow-up period was 89·7 μg/m3 (SD 14·4). In the fully adjusted models, we observed significant and positive associations between ozone and mortality from overall cardiovascular diseases (hazard ratio [HR] 1·093 [95% CI 1·046-1·142] per 10 μg/m3 increase in warm-season ozone concentrations), ischaemic heart disease (1·184 [1·099-1·276] per 10 μg/m3 increase in warm-season ozone concentrations), and stroke (1·063 [1·002- 1·128] per 10 μg/m3 increase in warm-season ozone concentrations). After adjusting for fine particulate matter, the associations with overall cardiovascular disease and ischaemic heart disease mortality were almost unchanged, whereas the association with stroke mortality lost statistical significance. The association of long-term ozone exposure with cardiovascular mortality was more prominent in people aged 65 years and older than in those younger than 65 years. We did not find any effect modification of sex, level of education, smoking status, urban or rural residence, and geographical region. We observed an almost linear exposure-response relationship between ozone and cardiovascular mortality.
InterpretationThis study is, to the best of our knowledge, the first nationwide cohort study to show that long-term ozone exposure contributes to elevated risks of cardiovascular mortality, particularly from ischaemic heart disease, in a middle-income setting. The exposure-response function generated from this study could potentially inform future air quality standard revisions and environmental health impact assessments.
FundingNational Natural Science Foundation of China.
- Niu, Y; Zhou, Y; Chen, R; Yin, P; Meng, X; Wang, W; Liu, C; Ji, JS; Qiu, Y; Kan, H; Zhou, M
- June 2022
Volume / Issue
- 6 / 6
Start / End Page
- e496 - e503
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