News
15/12/2016

ISGlobal: Association observed in Spain between exposure to air pollution and a significant reduction in life expectancy

ISGlobal: Association observed in Spain between exposure to air pollution and a significant reduction in life expectancy


News from ISGlobal


A study led by ISGlobal scientists has contributed new evidence about the serious negative effect of air pollution on our health. Unlike earlier studies in Spain, which focussed on specific areas of the country, the authors of this study analysed data on mortality, air pollution and vegetation levels (greenness) nationwide between 2009 and 2013. Their findings have revealed that increases in levels of airborne pollution are linked to significant decreases in life expectancy.

The study, which was published in the journal Environment International, found that an increase of 5 μg/m3 in coarse particles (PM10) was associated with a decrease in life expectancy of almost a year. Similarly, an increase of 2 μg/m3 in fine particles (PM2.5) was associated with a reduction of seven months. Likewise, an analysis of standardized mortality rates showed the same increases in concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 to be associated with an increased mortality risk of 5.7% and 3.7%, respectively.

In this nationwide small area study—carried out within the framework of the LIFE MED-HISS project—the researchers divided the whole country into 2,148 areas with at least 3,500 inhabitants in each, covering a total population of 44.5 million people.

Photo: David Holt

More information:
ISGlobal website

Reference article:
de Keijzer C, Agis D, Ambrós A, Arévalo G, Baldasano JM, Bande S, Barrera-Gómez J, Benach J, Cirach M, Dadvand P, Ghigo S, Martinez-Solanas È, Nieuwenhuijsen M, Cadum E, Basagaña X; MED-HISS Study group. The association of air pollution and greenness with mortality and life expectancy in Spain: A small-area study. Environ Int. 2016 Nov 18. pii: S0160-4120(16)30755-3. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2016.11.009.