Short-term PM2.5 and cardiovascular admissions in NY State: assessing sensitivity to exposure model choice

He, Mike Zhongyu; Do, Vivian; Liu, Siliang; Kinney, Patrick L.; Fiore, Arlene M.; Jin, Xiaomeng; DeFelice, Nicholas; Bi, Jianzhao; Liu, Yang; Insaf, Tabassum Z.; Kioumourtzoglou, Marianthi-Anna

Background: Air pollution health studies have been increasingly using prediction models for exposure assessment even in areas without monitoring stations. To date, most studies have assumed that a single exposure model is correct, but estimated effects may be sensitive to the choice of exposure model.

Methods: We obtained county-level daily cardiovascular (CVD) admissions from the New York (NY) Statewide Planning and Resources Cooperative System (SPARCS) and four sets of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) spatio-temporal predictions (2002–2012). We employed overdispersed Poisson models to investigate the relationship between daily PM2.5 and CVD, adjusting for potential confounders, separately for each state-wide PM2.5 dataset.

Results: For all PM2.5 datasets, we observed positive associations between PM2.5 and CVD. Across the modeled exposure estimates, effect estimates ranged from 0.23% (95%CI: -0.06, 0.53%) to 0.88% (95%CI: 0.68, 1.08%) per 10 µg/m3 increase in daily PM2.5. We observed the highest estimates using monitored concentrations 0.96% (95%CI: 0.62, 1.30%) for the subset of counties where these data were available.

Conclusions: Effect estimates varied by a factor of almost four across methods to model exposures, likely due to varying degrees of exposure measurement error. Nonetheless, we observed a consistently harmful association between PM2.5 and CVD admissions, regardless of model choice.

Keywords: Particulate matter, Exposure assessment, Cardiovascular morbidity

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Environmental Health