Association between ambient fine #particulate pollution and hospital admissions for cause specific #cardiovascular disease: time series study in 184 major Chinese cities

..At the national average level, an increase of 10 μg/m3 in PM2.5 was associated with a 0.26% (95% confidence interval 0.17% to 0.35%) increase in hospital admissions on the same day for cardiovascular disease, 0.31% (0.22% to 0.40%) for ischaemic heart disease, 0.27% (0.04% to 0.51%) for heart failure, 0.29% (0.12% to 0.46%) for heart rhythm disturbances, and 0.29% (0.18% to 0.40%) for ischaemic stroke, but not with haemorrhagic stroke (−0.02% (−0.23% to 0.19%)).

The national average association of PM2.5 with cardiovascular disease was slightly non-linear, with a sharp slope at PM2.5 levels below 50 μg/m3, a moderate slope at 50-250 μg/m3, and a plateau at concentrations higher than 250 μg/m3. Compared with days with PM2.5 up to 15 μg/m3, days with PM2.5 of 15-25, 25-35, 35-75, and 75 μg/m3 or more were significantly associated with increases in cardiovascular admissions of 1.1% (0 to 2.2%), 1.9% (0.6% to 3.2%), 2.6% (1.3% to 3.9%), and 3.8% (2.1% to 5.5%), respectively.According to projections, achieving the Chinese grade 2 (35 μg/m3), Chinese grade 1 (15 μg/m3), and World Health Organization (10 μg/m3) regulatory limits for annual mean PM2.5 concentrations would reduce the annual number of admissions for cardiovascular disease in China. Assuming causality, which should be done with caution, this reduction would translate into an estimated 36 448 (95% confidence interval 24 441 to 48 471), 85 270 (57 129 to 113 494), and 97 516 (65 320 to 129 820), respectively.

Conclusions These data suggest that in China, short term exposure to PM2.5 is associated with increased hospital admissions for all major cardiovascular diseases except for haemorrhagic stroke, even for exposure levels not exceeding the current regulatory limits.

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