Ambient coarse particulate pollution and mortality in three Chinese cities: Association and attributable mortality burden

Xiaojie Wang, Lingli Zhang, Zhenjiang Yao, Siqi Ai, Zhengmin (Min) Qian, Hao Wang, Rhonda BeLue, Tao Liu, Jianpeng Xiao, Xing Li, Weilin Zeng, Wenjun Ma, Hualiang Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The short-term mortality effects of ambient fine particulate matter air pollution have been widely investigated in China. However, the associations between day-to-day variation in ambient coarse particles pollution (PMc) and mortality, as well as the corresponding mortality burden, remain understudied. We estimated the short-term PMc-mortality association in three Chinese cities of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region during the period of 2013–16. The city-specific association was first estimated using generalized additive models and then combined to obtain the overall effect estimates. We further estimated PMc related attributable fraction and attributable mortality. Our study found a significant association between PMc and mortality. Each 10 μg/m3 increase of a current day's PMc was associated with a 1.37% (95% CI: 0.55%, 2.22%) increase in total mortality, a 1.63% increase (95% CI: 0.31%, 2.98%) in cardiovascular mortality, and a 0.97% increase (95% CI: −0.17%, 2.13%) in respiratory mortality in the three cities. We estimated that 0.37% (95% CI: 0.14%, 0.61%) and 2.72% (95% CI: 1.03%, 4.50%) of total mortalities were attributable to PMc by using China's standards and WHO's air quality guidelines as references—corresponding to 1394 (95% CI: 528, 2291) and 10,305 (95% CI: 3884, 17,000) attributable premature mortalities in the three cities, respectively. This study suggests that ambient coarse particulate pollution might be one important risk factor of total, cardiovascular, and respiratory mortality, as well as account for substantial mortality burdens in the three Chinese cities of the PRD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1037-1042
Number of pages6
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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