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Ecological bias in studies of the short–term effects of air pollution on health.


Reference:

Shaddick, G., Lee, D. and Wakefield, J., 2013. Ecological bias in studies of the short–term effects of air pollution on health. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 22, pp. 65-74.

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    Official URL:

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jag.2012.03.011

    Abstract

    There has been a great deal of research into the short–term effects of air pollution on health with a large number of studies modelling the association between aggregate disease counts and environmental exposures measured at point locations, for example via air pollution monitors. In such cases, the standard approach is to average the observed measurements from the individual monitors and use this in a log-linear health model. Hence such studies are ecological in nature being based on spatially aggregated health and exposure data. Here we investigate the potential for bias in the estimates of the effects on health when estimating the short–term effects of air pollution on health. Such ecological bias may occur if a simple summary measure, such as a daily mean, is not a suitable summary of a spatially variable pollution surface. We assess the performance of commonly used models when confronted with such issues using simulation studies and compare their performance with a model specifically designed to acknowledge the effects of exposure aggregation. In addition to simulation studies, we apply the models to a case study of the short–term effects of particulate matter on respiratory mortality using data from Greater London for the period 2002-2005. We found a significant increased risk of 3% (95% CI 1-5%) associated with the average of the previous three days exposure to particulate matter (per 10 μgm−3 PM10).

    Details

    Item Type Articles
    CreatorsShaddick, G., Lee, D. and Wakefield, J.
    DOI10.1016/j.jag.2012.03.011
    DepartmentsFaculty of Science > Mathematical Sciences
    Publisher StatementJAG7.pdf: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Applied Earth Observations and Geoinformation. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Journal of Applied Earth Observations and Geoinformation, 2012, DOI 10.1016/j.jag.2012.03.011
    RefereedYes
    StatusPublished
    ID Code29473

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