Assessment of Low-Level Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Incidence in Gdansk, Poland: Time-Series Cross-Sectional Analysis
Radosław Czernych, Artur Jerzy Badyda, Grzegorz Kozera, Paweł Zagożdżon
(1) Background: More than 1.8 million people in the European Union die every year as a result of CVD, accounting for 36% of all deaths with a large proportion being premature (before the age of 65). There are more than 300 different risk factors of CVD, known and air pollution is one of them. The aim of this study was to investigate whether daily cardiovascular mortality was associated with air pollutants and meteorological conditions in an urban environment with a low level of air pollution. (2) Methods: Data on daily incidence of strokes and myocardial infarctions in the city of Gdansk were obtained from the National Health Fund (NHF) and covered the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2018. Data on the level of pollution, i.e., SO2, NO, NO2, NOx, CO, PM10, PM2.5, CO2, O3 and meteorological conditions came from the foundation: Agency of Regional Air Quality Monitoring in the Gdańsk metropolitan area (ARMAG). Using these data, we calculated mean values with standard deviation (SD) and derived the minimum and maximum values and interquartile range (IQR). Time series regression with Poisson distribution was used in statistical analysis. (4) Results: Stroke incidence is significantly affected by an increase in concentrations of NO, NO2 and NOx with RRs equal to 1.019 (95%CI: 1.001–1.036), 1.036 (95%CI: 1.008–1.064) and 1.017 (95%CI: 1.000–1.034) for every increase in IQR by 14.12, 14.62 and 22.62 μg/m3, respectively. Similarly, myocardial infarction incidence is significantly affected by an increase in concentrations of NO, NO2 and NOx with RRs equal to 1.030 (95%CI: 1.011–1.048), 1.053 (95%CI: 1.024–1.082) and 1.027 (95%CI: 1.010–1.045) for every increase in IQR by 14.12, 14.62 and 22.62 μg/m3, respectively. Both PM10 and PM2.5 were positively associated with myocardial infarction incidence. (5) Conclusions: In this time-series cross-sectional study, we found strong evidence that support the hypothesis that transient elevations in ambient PM2.5, PM10, NO2, SO2 and CO are associated with higher relative risk of ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction incidents.