Research ArticleHEALTH AND MEDICINE

Evaluating the impact of long-term exposure to fine particulate matter on mortality among the elderly

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Science Advances  17 Jul 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 29, eaba5692
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba5692
  • Fig. 1 Annual average PM2.5 concentrations in the continental United States for 2000 and 2016.

  • Fig. 2 Mean AC for unadjusted, weighted, and matched populations.

    Mean AC was smaller than 0.1 using causal inference GPS methods (matching and weighting). AC values of <0.1 indicate good covariate balance, strengthening the interpretability and validity of our analyses as providing evidence of causality. BMI, body mass index.

  • Fig. 3 HR and 95% CIs.

    The estimated HRs were obtained under five different statistical approaches (two traditional approaches and three causal inference approaches). HRs were adjusted by 10 potential confounders, four meteorological variables, geographic region, and year.

  • Table 1 Characteristics for the study cohorts.

    Note that mean (SD) is presented for continuous variables.

    VariablesEntire Medicare enrolleesMedicare enrollees exposed to PM2.5 ≤ 12 μg/m3
    Number of individuals68,503,97938,366,800
    Number of deaths27,106,63910,124,409
    Total person years573,370,257259,469,768
    Median years of follow-up8.08.0
    Individual-level characteristics
    Age at entry (years)
    65–74 (%)80.688.1
    75–84 (%)14.99.0
    85–94 (%)4.12.6
    95 or above (%)0.40.2
    Mean (SD)69.2 (6.7)67.6 (5.6)
    Sex
    Female (%)55.553.8
    Male (%)44.546.2
    Race
    White (%)83.984.7
    Black (%)9.17.3
    Asian (%)1.81.8
    Hispanic (%)2.02.2
    North American Native (%)0.30.4
    Medicaid eligibility
    Eligible (%)11.710.9
    Area-level risk factors characteristics
    Ever smoked (%)47.347.3
    Below poverty level (%)10.510.1
    Below high school education (%)28.525.6
    Owner-occupied housing (%)72.072.9
    Hispanic (%)8.97.5
    Black (%)8.99.2
    Population density (persons/km2)600.0 (1953.9)489.1(1634.0)
    Mean BMI (kg/m2)27.6 (1.1)27.6 (1.1)
    Median household income ($1000)48.9 (21.7)50.3 (22.0)
    Median home value ($1000)162.5 (140.9)170.9 (146.2)
    Meteorological variables
    Summer temperature (°C)29.5 (3.7)29.5 (3.9)
    Winter temperature (°C)7.6 (7.2)7.4 (7.6)
    Summer relative humidity (%)88.0 (11.7)86.7 (12.7)
    Winter relative humidity (%)86.2 (7.3)86.4 (7.6)
    PM2.5 concentrations (μg/m3)9.8 (3.2)8.4 (2.3)

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    Evaluating the impact of long-term exposure to fine particulate matter on mortality among the elderly

    X. Wu, D. Braun, J. Schwartz, M. A. Kioumourtzoglou, F. Dominici

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    This PDF file includes:

    • Sections S1 to S4
    • Figs. S1 to S5
    • Tables S1 to S5
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