A systematic review and meta-analysis of intraday effects of ambient air pollution and temperature on cardiorespiratory morbidities: First few hours of exposure matters to life

Elsevier, eBioMedicine, Volume 86, December 2022
Wu K., Ho H.C., Su H., Huang C., Zheng H., Zhang W. et al.

Background: A growing number of studies have reported an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and respiratory disease (RD) within hours after exposure to ambient air pollution or temperature. We assemble published evidence on the sub-daily associations of CVD and RD with ambient air pollution and temperature. Methods: Databases of PubMed and Web of Science were searched for original case-crossover and time-series designs of English articles examining the intra-day effects of ambient air pollution [particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5), ≤10 μm (PM10), 2.5–10μm (PM10-2.5), and < 7 μm (SPM), O3, SO2, NO2, CO, and NO] and temperatures (heat and cold) on cardiorespiratory diseases within 24 h after exposure in the general population by comparing with exposure at different exposure levels or periods. Meta-analyses were conducted to pool excess risks (ERs, absolute percentage increase in risk) of CVD and RD morbidities associated with an increase of 10 μg/m3 in particulate matters, 0.1 ppm in CO, and 10 ppb in other gaseous pollutants. Findings: Final analysis included thirty-three papers from North America, Europe, Oceania, and Asia. Meta-analysis found an increased risk of total CVD morbidity within 3 h after exposure to PM2.5 [ER%: 2.65% (95% CI: 1.00% to 4.34%)], PM10-2.5 [0.31% (0.02% to 0.59%)], O3 [1.42% (0.14% to 2.73%)], and CO [0.41% (0.01% to 0.81%)]. The risk of total RD morbidity elevated at lag 7–12 h after exposure to PM2.5 [0.69% (0.14% to 1.24%)] and PM10 [0.38% (0.02% to 0.73%)] and at lag 12–24 h after exposure to SO2 [2.68% (0.94% to 4.44%)]. Cause-specific CVD analysis observed an increased risk of myocardial infarction morbidity within 6 h after exposure to PM2.5, PM10, and NO2, and an increased risk of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest morbidity within 12 h after exposure to CO. Risk of total CVD also increased within 24 h after exposure to heat. Interpretation: This study supports a sudden risk increase of cardiorespiratory diseases within a few hours after exposure to air pollution or heat, and some acute and highly lethal diseases such as myocardial infarction and cardiac arrest could be affected within a shorter time. Funding: The National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 42105165; 81773518), the High-level Scientific Research Foundation of Anhui Medical University (Grant No. 0305044201), and the Discipline Construction of Anhui Medical University (Grant No. 0301001836).