Association between ambient ozone and health outcomes in Prague

  • Iva HůnováEmail author
  • Marek Malý
  • Jana Řezáčová
  • Martin Braniš
Original Article



Though numerous studies investigating ambient ozone (O3) effects on human health were published, such a study for Central Europe is still lacking. We have investigated the association between ozone (O3) levels and hospital admissions and mortality due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases for Prague inhabitants for summer months (April–September) over the 5-year period 2002–2006. Our hypothesis was that ambient O3 levels in Prague resulted in adverse health outcomes and were associated with increased mortality and hospital admissions.


The effect of O3 on mortality and hospital admissions was investigated using the negative binomial regression after controlling for the influence of meteorological factors (air temperature and relative humidity) and calendar effects (seasonal patterns, long-term trends and day of week).


We found a statistically significant association between O3 levels and daily mortality from respiratory diseases. Relative risk of 1.080 (95% CI: 1.031–1.132) was observed for mortality from respiratory diseases per 10 μg m−3 increase in 1-day lagged daily mean O3 concentration. No statistically significant association was detected between O3 concentrations and daily mortality from all causes, daily mortality from cardiovascular diseases and hospital admissions for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The O3 effects differed in men and women, nevertheless, the results were ambiguous with respect to used lag and O3 metrics. No significant confounding effects of PM10 on the investigated association were observed.


O3 exposure in Prague, though lower as compared to many other cities in Europe, is high enough to cause adverse health effects.


Ambient ozone Cardiovascular diseases Hospital admissions Mortality Respiratory diseases 



This study was funded partly by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic under the NPVII research programme, Grant No. 2B08077 (Project INAIR) and supported partly by the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, project No. M100300904. The data on air pollution and meteorology were kindly provided by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute. We thank to our colleague, Linton Corbet, who revised the English for style and commented the final version of the manuscript. The authors highly appreciate detailed comments of three anonymous reviewers on an earlier draft of this manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iva Hůnová
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Marek Malý
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jana Řezáčová
    • 1
  • Martin Braniš
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Science, Institute for Environmental StudiesCharles University in PraguePragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.Czech Hydrometeorological InstitutePragueCzech Republic
  3. 3.National Institute of Public HealthPragueCzech Republic
  4. 4.Institute of Computer Science, Academy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPragueCzech Republic

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