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Time-Series Analysis of the Relationship Between Air Pollution and Daily Mortality in Beijing

Pan, X*; Chang, G; Xie, X; Tong, S§

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000276437.22928.b8

*Peking University School of Public Health, China; †Xuzhou Center of Disease Prevention and Control, China; ‡Beijing Center of Disease Prevention and Control, China; and §Queensland University of Technology, Australia.


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Air pollution has been associated with daily mortality in numerous studies that were conducted mostly in the developed countries whereas few data were available from developing countries where air pollution levels, population, and socioeconomic conditions differ substantially. In this study, daily time-series analysis was used to quantitatively evaluate associations between ambient air pollution and daily mortality in Beijing, China.

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Material and Methods:

An ecologic-longitudinal time-series design was used to quantitatively estimate the short-term effects of the air pollutants [total suspended particles (TSP), particulate matter (PM10), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and carbon monoxide (CO)] on daily cause-specific mortality in Beijing during 1998 to 2000. The daily cause-specific mortality data and the ambient pollutants monitoring data were collected in that time period. A Poisson generalized linear model was adjusted for the effects of time trends, seasonal patterns, weekdays, holidays, meteorological factors, and serial correlation.

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In bivariate analyses, the ambient TSP and SO2 concentration were statistically significantly associated with daily cause-specific mortality in the urban area of Beijing. After adjusting for the seasonal and meteorological factors, we found that there were increases in respiratory mortality of 3.19% (95% CI 1.45–4.96) and 4.21% (95% CI 1.85–6.83); cardio/cerebrovascular mortality of 0.62% (95% CI 0.01–1.17) and 3.97% (95% CI 2.44–5.53) for a 10 μg/m3 increase in TSP and SO2, respectively, in the urban area of Beijing.

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The ambient air TSP and SO2 concentrations positively increase the daily mortality of respiratory, cardio/cerebrovascular, coronary heart, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases quantitatively in Beijing. The study provides additional evidence showing that it is important to further control air pollution in the urban area of Beijing. It may also have implications for air pollution control and management in other developing countries.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.