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Long-Term Exposure to Air Pollutants and Cancer Mortality: A Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies

Department of Family Medicine, MyongJi Hospital, Hanyang University Medical Center, 14-55 Hwasu-ro, Deokyang-gu, Goyang, Gyeonggi-do 10475, Korea
Department of Medicine, Graduate School of Yonsei University, 50-1 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemoon-gu, Seoul 03722, Korea
Department of Family Medicine, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 50-1 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemoon-gu, Seoul 03722, Korea
Department of Family Medicine, Yongin Severance Hospital, 225 Gumhak-ro, Cheoin-gu, Yongin, Gyeonggi-do 17046, Korea
Department of Family Medicine, Gangnam Severance Hospital, 211 UnJu-ro, Seoul 06273, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2608;
Received: 12 October 2018 / Revised: 13 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 21 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk and Cancer Epidemiology)
PDF [1793 KB, uploaded 22 November 2018]


The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between main air pollutants and all cancer mortality by performing a meta-analysis. We searched PubMed, EMBASE (a biomedical and pharmacological bibliographic database of published literature produced by Elsevier), and the reference lists of other reviews until April 2018. A random-effects model was employed to analyze the meta-estimates of each pollutant. A total of 30 cohort studies were included in the final analysis. Overall risk estimates of cancer mortality for 10 µg/m3 per increase of particulate matter (PM)2.5, PM10, and NO2 were 1.17 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11–1.24), 1.09 (95% CI: 1.04–1.14), and 1.06 (95% CI: 1.02–1.10), respectively. With respect to the type of cancer, significant hazardous influences of PM2.5 were noticed for lung cancer mortality and non-lung cancer mortality including liver cancer, colorectal cancer, bladder cancer, and kidney cancer, respectively, while PM10 had harmful effects on mortality from lung cancer, pancreas cancer, and larynx cancer. Our meta-analysis of cohort studies indicates that exposure to the main air pollutants is associated with increased mortality from all cancers. View Full-Text
Keywords: air pollutants; cancer mortality; cohort study; meta-analysis air pollutants; cancer mortality; cohort study; meta-analysis

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Kim, H.-B.; Shim, J.-Y.; Park, B.; Lee, Y.-J. Long-Term Exposure to Air Pollutants and Cancer Mortality: A Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2608.

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