Background: Few cohort studies have evaluated the risk of mortality associated with long-term exposure to fine particulate matter [≤ 2.5 μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5)]. This is the first national-level cohort study to investigate these risks in Canada. Objective: We investigated the association between long-term exposure to ambient PM2.5 and cardiovascular mortality in nonimmigrant Canadian adults. Methods: We assigned estimates of exposure to ambient PM2.5 derived from satellite observations to a cohort of 2.1 million Canadian adults who in 1991 were among the 20% of the population mandated to provide detailed census data. We identified deaths occurring between 1991 and 2001 through record linkage. We calculated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) adjusted for available individual-level and contextual covariates using both standard Cox proportional survival models and nested, spatial random-effects survival models. Results: Using standard Cox models, we calculated HRs of 1.15 (95% CI: 1.13, 1.16) from nonaccidental causes and 1.31 (95% CI: 1.27, 1.35) from ischemic heart disease for each 10-μg/m3 increase in concentrations of PM2.5. Using spatial random-effects models controlling for the same variables, we calculated HRs of 1.10 (95% CI: 1.05, 1.15) and 1.30 (95% CI: 1.18, 1.43), respectively. We found similar associations between nonaccidental mortality and PM2.5 based on satellite-derived estimates and ground-based measurements in a sub-analysis of subjects in 11 cities. Conclusions: In this large national cohort of nonimmigrant Canadians, mortality was associated with long-term exposure to PM2.5. Associations were observed with exposures to PM2.5 at concentrations that were predominantly lower (mean, 8.7 μg/m3; interquartile range, 6.2 μg/m3) than those reported previously.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Canada, Cardiovascular mortality, Cohort study, Fine particulate matter
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1104049
Journal Environmental Health Perspectives
Citation
Crouse, D.L. (Dan L.), Peters, P, van Donkelaar, A. (Aaron), Goldberg, M.S. (Mark S.), Villeneuve, P, Brion, O. (Orly), … Burnett, R.T. (Richard T.). (2012). Risk of nonaccidental and cardiovascular mortality in relation to long-term exposure to low concentrations of fine particulate matter: A canadian national-level cohort study. Environmental Health Perspectives, 120(5), 708–714. doi:10.1289/ehp.1104049