, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 87-96
Date: 12 Sep 2006

Temperature modifies the health effects of particulate matter in Brisbane, Australia

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Abstract

A few epidemiological studies have examined whether there was an interactive effect between temperature and ambient particulate matter on cardiorespiratory morbidity and mortality, but the results were inconsistent. The present study used three time-series approaches to explore whether maximum temperature modified the impact of ambient particulate matter less than 10 μm in diameter (PM10) on daily respiratory hospital admissions, cardiovascular hospital admissions, respiratory emergency visits, cardiovascular emergency visits, non-external cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality in Brisbane between 1996 and 2001. The analytical approaches included a bivariate response surface model, a non-stratification parametric model and a stratification parametric model. Results show that there existed a statistically significant interaction between PM10 and temperature on most health outcomes at various lags. PM10 exhibited more adverse health effects on warm days than cold days. The choice of the degree of freedom for smoothers to adjust for confounders and the selection of arbitrary cut-offs for temperature affected the interaction estimates to a certain extent, but did not change the overall conclusion. The results imply that it is important to control and reduce the emission of air particles in Brisbane, particularly when temperature increases.