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Studies worldwide have estimated the number of deaths attributable to long-term exposure to fine airborne particles (PM), but limited information is available on short-term exposure, particularly in China. In addition, most existing studies have assumed that short-term PM-mortality associations were linear. For this reason, the use of linear exposure-response functions for calculating disease burden of short-term exposure to PM in China may not be appropriate. There is an urgent need for a comprehensive, evidence-based assessment of the disease burden related to short-term PM exposure in China. Here, we explored the non-linear association between short-term PM exposure and all-cause mortality in 104 counties in China; estimated county-specific mortality burdens attributable to short-term PM exposure for all counties in the country and analyzed spatial characteristics of the mortality burden due to short-term PM exposure in China. The pooled PM-mortality association was non-linear, with a reversed J-shape. We found an approximately linear increased risk of mortality from 0 to 62 μg/m and decreased risk from 62 to 250 μg/m. We estimated a total of 169,862 additional deaths from short-term PM exposure throughout China in 2015. Models using linear exposure-response functions for the PM-mortality association estimated 32,186 deaths attributable to PM exposure, which is 5.3 times lower than estimates from the non-linear effect model. Short-term PM exposure contributed greatly to the death burden in China, approximately one seventh of the estimates from the chronic effect. It is essential and crucial to incorporate short-term PM-related mortality estimations when considering the disease burden attributable to PM in developing countries such as China. Traditional linear effect models likely underestimated the mortality burden due to short-term exposure to PM.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Environment international
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Component of the NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH. It conducts and supports basic and applied research to reduce the burden of human illness and dysfunction from environmental causes by, defining how environmental exposures, genetic susceptibility, and age interact to affect an individual's health. It was established in 1969.
Experiments designed to determine the potential toxic effects of one-time, short-term exposure to a chemical or chemicals.
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