Effect of exposure to ambient PM2.5 pollution on the risk of respiratory tract diseases: a meta-analysis of cohort studies.
J Biomed Res. 2017 Jan 19 ;31(2):130-142. PMID: 28808195
The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Health Organization have designated airborne particulates, including particulates of median aerodynamic diameter≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5), as Group 1 carcinogens. It has not been determined, however, whether exposure to ambient PM2.5 is associated with an increase in respiratory related diseases. This meta-analysis assessed the association between exposure to ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and the risk ofrespiratory tract diseases, using relevant articles extracted from PubMed, Web of Science, and Embase. In results, of the 1,126 articles originally identified, 35 (3.1%) were included in this meta-analysis. PM2.5 was found to be associated with respiratory tract diseases. After subdivision by age group, respiratory tract disease, and continent, PM2.5 was strongly associated with respiratory tract diseases in children, in persons with cough, lower respiratory illness, and wheezing, and in individuals from North America, Europe, and Asia. The risk of respiratory tract diseases was greater for exposure to traffic-related than non-traffic-related air pollution. In children, the pooled relative risk (RR) represented significant increases in wheezing (8.2%), cough (7.5%), and lower respiratory illness (15.3%). The pooled RRs in children were 1.091 (95%CI: 1.049, 1.135) for exposure to<25μg/m(3) PM2.5, and 1.126 (95%CI: 1.067, 1.190) for exposure to ≥ 25 μg/m(3) PM2.5. In conclusion, exposure to ambient PM2.5 was significantly associated with the development of respiratory tract diseases, especially in children exposed to high concentrations of PM2.5.