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Traffic Exposure and Mortality in Rome: Results of a Large Cohort Study

Cesaroni, Giulia; Badaloni, Chiara; Forastiere, Francesco; Perucci, Carlo A

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000362285.02854.f6
Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Oral Presentations

Epidemiology Dept. Local Health Authority RME, Rome, Italy.

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the organizations of Epidemiology. Affliate Societies at whose meetings the abstracts have been accepted for presentation. These abstracts have not undergone review by the Editorial Board of Epidemiology.


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Background and Objective:

There are few investigations on the long-term effects of traffic-related pollutants and mortality. We analyzed the association between different proxy measures of exposure to traffic air pollution and mortality in the Rome Longitudinal Study (RoLS).

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We selected all 684,204 city residents (October 21, 2001) aged 45-80 years who had not changed their address in the previous five years. Different GIS indicators were available for each subject's residence: distance from high traffic roads (HTR) (>10,000 vehicles per day), traffic density within 150m from home (number of vehicles * meters of street in the buffer of 150m from home/area of the buffer), meters and daily traffic count of HTR within 150m of home. Data on individual education and area-based socioeconomic position (SEP) were also available. We followed the participants until December 31, 2006. Cox regression models were used to study traffic indicators and mortality taking into account gender, age, education, and area-based SEP.

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During the study period, 45,006 natural deaths occurred (mortality was 13.4% per year, 96% of all deaths). All GIS indicators had a statistically significant association (P for trend <0.03) with mortality. Subjects who lived fewer than 50m from a HTR had a higher risk of dying (HR = 1.05, 95%CI:1.02-1.08) than those more than 250m away. Traffic density showed the strongest association with an 8% (95%CI = 4-11%) higher risk for those in the greatest traffic density quartile than those with zero traffic density. The results were stronger for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. No effect modification was seen for age, education and area based SEP.

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An association between traffic variables and mortality was detected, especially for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

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