News from CREAL
A recent study published in Environmental Health Perspectives led by researchers at CREAL, an ISGlobal allied center, estimated that almost 3,000 deaths in Barcelona are premature and preventable under compliance with international exposure recommendations for physical activity, air pollution, noise, heat, and access to green spaces.
The researchers from CREAL developed and applied the Urban and TranspOrt Planning Health Impact Assessment (UTOPHIA) tool to Barcelona. Exposure estimates and mortality data were available for 1.357.361 Barcelona residents older than 20 years. “We compared recommended with current exposure levels. We quantified the associations between exposures and mortality, and calculated population attributable fractions to estimate the number of preventable premature deaths. We also modeled life-expectancy and economic impacts”, explains Natalie Mueller, first author of the study and researcher at CREAL.
The researchers estimated that annually almost 20% of natural all-cause mortality (i.e. almost 3,000 deaths) could be postponed each year if international recommendations for performance of physical activity, exposure to air pollution, noise, heat, and access to green space were complied with. Estimations showed that the biggest share in preventable premature deaths was attributable to increases in physical activity, followed by exposure reductions in air pollution, traffic noise and heat.
Natalie Mueller, David Rojas-Rueda, Xavier Basagaña, Marta Cirach, Tom Cole-Hunter, Payam Dadvand, David Donaire-Gonzalez, Maria Foraster, Mireia Gascon, David Martinez, Cathryn Tonne, Margarita Triguero-Mas, Antònia Valentín, Mark Nieuwenhuijsen. Urban and transport planning related exposures and mortality: a health impact assessment for cities. Environmental Health Perspectives, June 2016