BMJ. 2019 12 30 ;367:l6572. Epub 2019 Dec 30. PMID: 31888884
Association between ambient fine particulate pollution and hospital admissions for cause specific cardiovascular disease: time series study in 184 major Chinese cities.
OBJECTIVE: To estimate the risks of daily hospital admissions for cause specific major cardiovascular diseases associated with short term exposure to ambient fine particulate matter (aerodynamic diameter≤2.5 μm; PM) pollution in China.DESIGN: National time series study.SETTING: 184 major cities in China.POPULATION: 8 834 533 hospital admissions for cardiovascular causes in 184 Chinese cities recorded by the national database of Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2017.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Daily counts of city specific hospital admissions for primary diagnoses of ischaemic heart disease, heart failure, heart rhythm disturbances, ischaemic stroke, and haemorrhagic stroke among different demographic groups were used to estimate the associations between PMand morbidity. An overdispersed generalised additive model was used to estimate city specific associations between PMand cardiovascular admissions, and random effects meta-analysis used to combine the city specific estimates.RESULTS: Over the study period, a mean of 47 hospital admissions per day (standard deviation 74) occurred for cardiovascular disease, 26 (53) for ischaemic heart disease, one (five) for heart failure, two (four) for heart rhythm disturbances, 14 (28) for ischaemic stroke, and two (four) for haemorrhagic stroke. At the national average level, an increase of 10μg/min PMwas associated with a 0.26% (95% confidence interval 0.17% to 0.35%) increase in hospital admissions on the same day for cardiovascular disease, 0.31% (0.22% to 0.40%) for ischaemic heart disease, 0.27% (0.04% to 0.51%) for heart failure, 0.29% (0.12% to 0.46%) for heart rhythm disturbances, and 0.29% (0.18% to 0.40%) for ischaemic stroke, but not with haemorrhagic stroke (-0.02% (-0.23% to 0.19%)). The national average association of PMwith cardiovascular disease was slightly non-linear, with a sharp slope at PMlevels below 50μg/m, a moderate slope at 50-250μg/m, and a plateau at concentrations higher than 250μg/m. Compared with days with PMup to 15μg/m, days with PMof 15-25, 25-35, 35-75, and 75μg/mor more were significantly associated with increases in cardiovascular admissions of 1.1% (0 to 2.2%), 1.9% (0.6% to 3.2%), 2.6% (1.3% to 3.9%), and 3.8% (2.1% to 5.5%), respectively.According to projections, achieving the Chinese grade 2 (35μg/m), Chinese grade 1 (15μg/m), and World Health Organization (10μg/m) regulatory limits for annual mean PMconcentrations would reduce the annual number of admissions for cardiovascular disease in China. Assuming causality, which should be done with caution, this reduction would translate into an estimated 36 448 (95% confidence interval 24 441 to 48 471), 85 270 (57 129 to 113 494), and 97 516 (65 320 to 129 820), respectively.CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that in China, short term exposure to PMis associated with increased hospital admissions for all major cardiovascular diseases except for haemorrhagic stroke, even for exposure levels not exceeding the current regulatory limits.