Chronic fine and coarse particulate exposure, mortality, and coronary heart disease in the Nurses' Health Study

Robin C. Puett, Jaime E. Hart, Jeff D. Yanosky, Christopher Paciorek, Joel Schwartz, Helen Suh, Frank E. Speizer, Francine Laden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

283 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The relationship of fine particulate matter < 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) air pollution with mortality and cardiovascular disease is well established, with more recent long-term studies reporting larger effect sizes than earlier long-term studies. Some studies have suggested the coarse fraction, particles between 2.5 and 10 μm (PM10-2.5), may also be important. With respect to mortality and cardiovascular events, questions remain regarding the relative strength of effect sizes for chronic exposure to fine and coarse particles. OBJECTIVES: We examined the relationship of chronic PM2.5 and PM10-2.5 exposures with all-cause mortality and fatal and nonfatal incident coronary heart disease (CHD), adjusting for time-varying covariates. METHODS: The current study included women from the Nurses' Health Study living in metropolitan areas of the northeastern and midwestern United States. Follow-up was from 1992 to 2002. We used geographic information systems-based spatial smoothing models to estimate monthly exposures at each participant's residence. RESULTS: We found increased risk of all-cause mortality [hazard ratio (HR), 1.26; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.02-1.54] and fatal CHD (HR = 2.02; 95% CI, 1.07-3.78) associated with each 10-μg/m3 increase in annual PM2.5 exposure. The association between fatal CHD and PM10-2.5 was weaker. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings contribute to growing evidence that chronic PM2.5 exposure is associated with risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1697-1701
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental health perspectives
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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