Special Issue "Air Pollution and Climate Change-Mediated Health Impacts"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Antonella Zanobetti
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02215, USA
Interests: health consequences of exposure to air pollutants and climate change; environmental epidemiology; susceptibility, vulnerability, and environmental health disparities; children’s health
Dr. Jaime Madrigano
Website
Guest Editor
RAND CorporationArlington, VA 22202, USA
Interests: environmental epidemiology; climate change and health; air pollution; extreme weather; vulnerability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Air pollution and climate change are two of the greatest environmental health stressors of our time. As the fifth leading risk factor for mortality worldwide, air pollution is responsible for more deaths than many well-known health risk factors, including physical inactivity. The health risks of climate change are many and include the spread of vector-borne diseases, malnutrition resulting from food insecurity, heat- and cold-related illness, mental health impacts from displacement due to extreme weather events, and health effects of poor air quality from wildfires and high ozone, among others. In many cases, air pollution and climate change are tied together, either by the industrial processes responsible for them or the solutions to mitigate them.

This Special Issue aims to present new contributions on the health impacts of both air pollution and climate change, as well as weather patterns associated with climate change. We encourage submissions that characterize novel health impacts of these environmental stressors, either alone or jointly. We are also particularly interested in contributions that evaluate factors, policies or interventions that may help mitigate or adapt to climate change, as well as improve air quality. Finally, research that identifies vulnerable subpopulations or communities and emphasizes principles of equity is strongly encouraged.

Dr. Antonella Zanobetti
Dr. Jaime Madrigano
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • air pollution
  • particulate matter
  • ozone
  • climate change
  • temperature
  • extreme weather
  • coastal storms
  • intervention studies
  • environmental health

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Associations between Particulate Matter and Otitis Media in Children: A Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4604; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124604 - 26 Jun 2020
Abstract
Particulate matter (PM), a primary component of air pollution, is a suspected risk factor for the development of otitis media (OM). However, the results of studies on the potential correlation between an increase in the concentration of PM and risk of developing OM [...] Read more.
Particulate matter (PM), a primary component of air pollution, is a suspected risk factor for the development of otitis media (OM). However, the results of studies on the potential correlation between an increase in the concentration of PM and risk of developing OM are inconsistent. To better characterize this potential association, a meta-analysis of studies indexed in three global databases (PubMed, EMBASE, and The Cochrane Library) was conducted. These databases were systematically screened for observational studies of PM concentration and the development of OM from the time of their inception to 31 March 2020. Following these searches, 12 articles were analyzed using pooled odds ratios generated from random-effects models to test for an association between an increased concentration of PM and the risk of developing OM. The data were analyzed separately according to the size of particulate matter as PM2.5 and PM10. The pooled odds ratios for each 10 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 and PM10 concentration were 1.032 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.005–1.060) and 1.010 (95% CI, 1.008–1.012), respectively. Specifically, the pooled odds ratios were significant within the short-term studies (PM measured within 1 week of the development of OM), as 1.024 (95% CI, 1.008–1.040) for PM2.5 concentration and 1.010 (95% CI, 1.008–1.012) for PM10 concentration. They were significant for children under 2 years of age with pooled odds ratios of 1.426 (95% CI, 1.278–1.519) for an increase in the concentration of PM2.5. The incidence of OM was not correlated with the concentration of PM, but was correlated with an increase in the concentration of PM. In conclusion, an increase in the concentration of PM2.5 is more closely associated with the development of OM compared with an increase in the concentration of PM10; this influence is more substantial in shorter-term studies and for younger children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution and Climate Change-Mediated Health Impacts)
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Open AccessArticle
Ambient Air Pollution Exposure Association with Anaemia Prevalence and Haemoglobin Levels in Chinese Older Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3209; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093209 - 05 May 2020
Abstract
Background: Health effects of air pollution on anaemia have been scarcely studied worldwide. We aimed to explore the associations of long-term exposure to ambient air pollutants with anaemia prevalence and haemoglobin levels in Chinese older adults. Methods: We used two-level linear regression models [...] Read more.
Background: Health effects of air pollution on anaemia have been scarcely studied worldwide. We aimed to explore the associations of long-term exposure to ambient air pollutants with anaemia prevalence and haemoglobin levels in Chinese older adults. Methods: We used two-level linear regression models and modified Poisson regression with robust error variance to examine the associations of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on haemoglobin concentrations and the prevalence of anaemia, respectively, among 10,611 older Chinese adults enrolled in World Health Organization (WHO) Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) China. The average community exposure to ambient air pollutants (PM with an aerodynamic diameter of 10 μm or less (PM10), 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5), 1 μm or less (PM1) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2)) for each participant was estimated using a satellite-based spatial statistical model. Haemoglobin levels were measured for participants from dried blood spots. The models were controlled for confounders. Results: All the studied pollutants were significantly associated with increased anaemia prevalence in single pollutant model (e.g., the prevalence ratios associated with an increase in inter quartile range in three years moving average PM10 (1.05; 95% CI: 1.02–1.09), PM2.5 (1.11; 95% CI: 1.06–1.16), PM1 (1.13; 95% CI: 1.06–1.20) and NO2 (1.42; 95% CI: 1.34–1.49), respectively. These air pollutants were also associated with lower concentrations of haemoglobin: PM10 (−0.53; 95% CI: −0.67, −0.38); PM2.5 (−0.52; 95% CI: −0.71, −0.33); PM1 (−0.55; 95% CI: −0.69, −0.41); NO2 (−1.71; 95% CI: −1.85, −1.57) respectively. Conclusions: Air pollution exposure was significantly associated with increased prevalence of anaemia and decreased haemoglobin levels in a cohort of older Chinese adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution and Climate Change-Mediated Health Impacts)
Open AccessArticle
Spatial Variability of Heat-Related Mortality in Barcelona from 1992–2015: A Case Crossover Study Design
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2553; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072553 - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
Numerous studies have demonstrated the relationship between summer temperatures and increased heat-related deaths. Epidemiological analyses of the health effects of climate exposures usually rely on observations from the nearest weather station to assess exposure-response associations for geographically diverse populations. Urban climate models provide [...] Read more.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the relationship between summer temperatures and increased heat-related deaths. Epidemiological analyses of the health effects of climate exposures usually rely on observations from the nearest weather station to assess exposure-response associations for geographically diverse populations. Urban climate models provide high-resolution spatial data that may potentially improve exposure estimates, but to date, they have not been extensively applied in epidemiological research. We investigated temperature-mortality relationships in the city of Barcelona, and whether estimates vary among districts. We considered georeferenced individual (natural) mortality data during the summer months (June–September) for the period 1992–2015. We extracted daily summer mean temperatures from a 100-m resolution simulation of the urban climate model (UrbClim). Summer hot days (above percentile 70) and reference (below percentile 30) temperatures were compared by using a conditional logistic regression model in a case crossover study design applied to all districts of Barcelona. Relative Risks (RR), and 95% Confidence Intervals (CI), of all-cause (natural) mortality and summer temperature were calculated for several population subgroups (age, sex and education level by districts). Hot days were associated with an increased risk of death (RR = 1.13; 95% CI = 1.10–1.16) and were significant in all population subgroups compared to the non-hot days. The risk ratio was higher among women (RR = 1.16; 95% CI= 1.12–1.21) and the elderly (RR = 1.18; 95% CI = 1.13–1.22). Individuals with primary education had similar risk (RR = 1.13; 95% CI = 1.08–1.18) than those without education (RR = 1.10; 95% CI= 1.05–1.15). Moreover, 6 out of 10 districts showed statistically significant associations, varying the risk ratio between 1.12 (95% CI = 1.03–1.21) in Sants-Montjuïc and 1.25 (95% CI = 1.14–1.38) in Sant Andreu. Findings identified vulnerable districts and suggested new insights to public health policy makers on how to develop district-specific strategies to reduce risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution and Climate Change-Mediated Health Impacts)
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Open AccessArticle
Prenatal Ambient Particulate Matter Exposure and Longitudinal Weight Growth Trajectories in Early Childhood
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1444; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041444 - 24 Feb 2020
Abstract
Air pollution exposure during pregnancy has been associated with impaired fetal growth and postnatal weight gain, but few studies have examined the effect on weight growth trajectories. We examine the association between validated 1 km2 resolution particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations, [...] Read more.
Air pollution exposure during pregnancy has been associated with impaired fetal growth and postnatal weight gain, but few studies have examined the effect on weight growth trajectories. We examine the association between validated 1 km2 resolution particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations, averaged over pregnancy, and sex-specific growth trajectories from birth to age six of participants in the Boston-based Children’s HealthWatch cohort (4797 participants, 84,283 measures). We compared weight trajectories, predicted using polynomial splines in mixed models, between prenatal PM2.5 above or below the median (9.5 µg/m3), and examined birth weight as an effect modifier. Females exposed to average prenatal PM2.5 ≥ 9.5 µg/m3 had higher weights compared to females exposed to < 9.5 µg/m3 throughout the study period (0.16 kg at 24 months, 0.61 kg at 60 months). In males, higher prenatal PM2.5 exposure was associated with significantly lower weights after 24 months of age, with differences increasing with time (−0.17 at 24 months, −0.72 kg at 60 months). Associations were more pronounced among low birth weight (<2500 g) females, but did not differ by birth weight status in males. Our findings demonstrate the complex association between air pollution exposures and childhood weight trajectories and emphasize the importance of sex-stratified analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution and Climate Change-Mediated Health Impacts)
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Open AccessArticle
Short-Term Associations of Fine Particulate Matter and Synoptic Weather Types with Cardiovascular Mortality: An Ecological Time-Series Study in Shanghai, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1111; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17031111 - 10 Feb 2020
Abstract
Background: Exposures to both ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and extreme weather conditions have been associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths in numerous epidemiologic studies. However, evidence on the associations with CVD deaths for interaction effects between PM2.5 and [...] Read more.
Background: Exposures to both ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and extreme weather conditions have been associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths in numerous epidemiologic studies. However, evidence on the associations with CVD deaths for interaction effects between PM2.5 and weather conditions is still limited. This study aimed to investigate associations of exposures to PM2.5 and weather conditions with cardiovascular mortality, and further to investigate the synergistic or antagonistic effects of ambient air pollutants and synoptic weather types (SWTs). Methods: Information on daily CVD deaths, air pollution, and meteorological conditions between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2014 was obtained in Shanghai, China. Generalized additive models were used to assess the associations of daily PM2.5 concentrations and meteorological factors with CVD deaths. A 15-day lag analysis was conducted using a polynomial distributed lag model to access the lag patterns for associations with PM2.5. Results: During the study period, the total number of CVD deaths in Shanghai was 59,486, with a daily mean of 54.3 deaths. The average daily PM2.5 concentration was 55.0 µg/m3. Each 10 µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentration was associated with a 1.26% (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.40%, 2.12%) increase in CVD mortality. No SWT was statistically significantly associated with CVD deaths. For the interaction between PM2.5 and SWT, statistically significant interactions were found between PM2.5 and cold weather, with risk for PM2.5 in cold dry SWT decreasing by 1.47% (95% CI: 0.54%, 2.39%), and in cold humid SWT the risk decreased by 1.45% (95% CI: 0.52%, 2.36%). In the lag effect analysis, statistically significant positive associations were found for PM2.5 in the 1–3 lag days, while no statistically significant effects were found for other lag day periods. Conclusions: Exposure to PM2.5 was associated with short-term increased risk of cardiovascular deaths with some lag effects, while the cold weather may have an antagonistic effect with PM2.5. However, the ecological study design limited the possibility to identify a causal relationship, so prospective studies with individual level data are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution and Climate Change-Mediated Health Impacts)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Ambient Temperature and Relative Humidity on the Incidence of Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease in Wuhan, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17020428 - 08 Jan 2020
Abstract
Background: Few studies have previously explored the relationship between hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) and meteorological factors with the effect modification of air pollution, and these studies had inconsistent findings. We therefore applied a time-series analysis assessing the effects of temperature [...] Read more.
Background: Few studies have previously explored the relationship between hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) and meteorological factors with the effect modification of air pollution, and these studies had inconsistent findings. We therefore applied a time-series analysis assessing the effects of temperature and humidity on the incidence of HFMD in Wuhan, China to deepen our understanding of the relationship between meteorological factors and the risk of HFMD. Methods: Daily HFMD cases were retrieved from Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention from 1 February 2013 to 31 January 2017. Daily meteorological data including 24 h average temperature, relative humidity, wind velocity, and atmospheric pressure were obtained from Hubei Meteorological Bureau. Data on Air pollution was collected from 10 national air-monitoring stations in Wuhan city. We adopted a distributed lag non-linear model (DLNM) combined with Poisson regression and time-series analysis to estimate the effects of temperature and relative humidity on the incidence HFMD. Results: We found that the association between temperature and HFMD incidence was non-linear, exhibiting an approximate “M” shape with two peaks occurring at 2.3 °C (RR = 1.760, 95% CI: 1.218–2.542) and 27.9 °C (RR = 1.945, 95% CI: 1.570–2.408), respectively. We observed an inverted “V” shape between relative humidity and HFMD. The risk of HFMD reached a maximum value at a relative humidity of 89.2% (RR = 1.553, 95% CI: 1.322–1.824). The largest delayed cumulative effects occurred at lag 6 for temperature and lag 13 for relative humidity. Conclusions: The non-linear relationship between meteorological factors and the incidence of HFMD on different lag days could be used in the early targeted warning system of infectious diseases, reducing the possible outbreaks and burdens of HFMD among sensitive populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution and Climate Change-Mediated Health Impacts)
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