Previous Project

Short-term health effects of fine and ultrafine particle pollution in Beijing, China (2005 - 2012)

Study objectives:
The objective of the study was to characterize the impact of PM10 (defined as particles smaller than 10 µm) on daily cause-specific mortality in a time when the contribution of different sources to ambient particles changed. Data on detailed size-resolved measurements of submicron and ultrafine particles and data on outpatient and emergency room visits from hospitals around the measurement site allowed us to distinguish between the health effects of different fractions of particles including very small ones.

Specific aims:
To analyse the association

  • between size-distribution data and daily cause-specific mortality due to cardiovascular and respiratory causes between March 2004 and April 2005
  • between official air monitoring data and daily cause-specific mortality between 2003 and April 2005.
  • To establish a prospective collection of emergency room visit data in selected hospitals surrounding measurement sites.

Study design:
Population based time-series study on acute exposure of air pollutants.

Study population:
Population of the urban area of Beijing (mortality) and residents of the Haidian district (emergency room visits).

Study area:
Beijing, China.

Study methods:
Exposure Assessment:
Monitoring of particle counts in different size fractions from 3nm to 10µm (2004-2007),
measurement of gaseous components: SO2, NO2,
measurement of meteorological parameters.

Health outcomes:
Daily counts of cause-specific mortality due to cardiovascular and respiratory causes and daily counts of emergency room visits due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

Statistical Methods:
Generalized additive models, Distributed lag models.

Study period:
January 2003 - December 2006.

Current status:

Helmholtz Zentrum München - Institute of Epidemiology II: Annette Peters (principal investigator), Susanne Breitner (statistical analysis), Josef Cyrys (exposure assessment), Irene Brüske (management of fieldwork), H.-Erich Wichmann (senior supervision).
Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzig, Department Human Exposure Research and Epidemiology / University of Leipzig: Ulrich Franck, Uwe Schlink, Olf Herbarth.

Peking University – Health Science Center, School of Public Health, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health: Xiao-chuan Pan.
Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (IfT), Leipzig, Alfred Wiedensohler, Birgit Wehner.

German Research Foundation (DFG), Germany (2005-2008).

Related publications:

  • Guo Y, Tong S, Li S, Barnett AG, Yu W, Zhang Y, Pan X. 2010. Gaseous air pollution and emergency hospital visits for hypertension in Beijing, China: a time-stratified case-crossover study. Environ Health. 9:57.

  • Guo Y, Tong S, Zhang Y, Barnett AG, Jia Y, Pan X. 2010. The relationship between particulate air pollution and emergency hospital visits for hypertension in Beijing, China. Science of the Total Environment 408(20):4446-4450.

  • Guo Y, Jia Y, Pan X, Liu L, Wichmann HE. 2009. The association between fine particulate air pollution and hospital emergency room visits for cardiovascular diseases in Beijing, China. Science of the Total Environment 407(17):4826-4830.

  • Wu Z, Hu M, Liu S, Wehner B, Bauer S, Maßling A, Wiedensohler A, Petäjä T, Dal Maso M, Kulmala M. 2007.
    New particle formation in Beijing, China: Statistical analysis of a 1-year data set. Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 112.

  • Wehner B, Wiedensohler A, Tuch T, Wu ZJ, Hu M, Slanina J, Kiang CS. 2004. Variability of the aerosol number size distribution in Beijing, China: New particle formation, dust storms, and high continental background. Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 31.

  • Leitte AM, Schlink U, Herbarth O, Wiedensohler A, Pan XC, Hu M, Richter M, Wehner B, Tuch T, Wu Z, Yang M, Liu L, Breitner S, Cyrys J, Peters A, Wichmann HE, Franck U. 2011. Size Segregated Particle Number Concentrations and Respiratory Emergency Room Visits in Beijing, China. Environ Health Perspect 119(4): 508-513.

  • Liu L, Breitner S, Pan X, Franck U, Leitte AM, Wiedensohler A, von Klot S, Wichmann HE, Peters A, Schneider A. 2011. Associations between Air Temperature and Cardio-Respiratory Mortality in the Urban Area of Beijing, China. Environ Health: 10: 51.

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