In the context of recent publications from North America, indicating that moderate and low levels of air pollution have measurable short-term effects on mortality and morbidity, and the concern caused in the public and regulatory bodies, the APHEA (Short-term effects of Air Pollution on Heath: a European Approach) project investigated the issue in 15 European cities, within the Environment 1991-94 Programme.
The combined analyses showed that particulate matter, SO2 and ozone were associated with statistically significant increases in total and cause specific daily mortality (an increase of 50 kg/m3 in one pollutant level was associated with 1-5% increase in mortality).
Particulate matter and ozone levels were found associated with hospital respiratory and COPD admissions (a 50kg/m3 increase in the pollutant level was followed by a 1-4% increase in the daily number of admissions) while NO2 levels appeared associated with the number of asthma admissions. Other interesting results referred to regional differences and effect modification by season and by other pollutants.
The present proposal has four objectives:
1. To investigate dose-response curves for air pollutants (particulate matter, SO2,NO2,Ozone, CO) -mortality (total, cardiovascular and respiratory) associations in 32 European cities/areas and air pollutants-hospital respiratory admissions in 7 areas, spread in 17 countries;
2. To address the problem of mortality displacement (i.e. how premature are the deaths caused by air-pollution) which is particularly important for evaluating the public health significance of the short-term air pollution health effects;
3. To investigate further regional differences in air pollutants- health associations; and
4. To evaluate results from Europe together with those from the U.S. in collaboration with a starting similar U.S. project.
Extended and updated data files (up to 1995 or 96) will be used. The project is structured in Work Packages. In the initial stage (6 months) all Partners will compile their data files and send them to the four Partners who will be responsible for the analyses of individual data sets (13 months) and for the different aspects of the joint analyses (8 months). The next stages will be a collaboration with U.S. researchers (4 months) and the preparation of Reports and manuscripts (5 months). The project will be managed by a Steering Committee, while a Statistical group will be formed to decide on methodological aspects.
The total duration of the project will be 36 months with a probable starting date 1/10/97.
It is expected that the results will provide important input for public health protection policies and regulations concerning air quality.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
100 00 Praha 10
00 791 Warszawa