A meta-analysis of time-series studies of ozone and mortality with comparison to the national morbidity, mortality, and air pollution study

School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 6.18). 08/2005; 16(4):436-45. DOI: 10.1097/01.ede.0000165817.40152.85
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although many time-series studies of ozone and mortality have identified positive associations, others have yielded null or inconclusive results, making the results of these studies difficult to interpret.
We performed a meta-analysis of 144 effect estimates from 39 time-series studies, and estimated pooled effects by lags, age groups, cause-specific mortality, and concentration metrics. We compared results with pooled estimates from the National Morbidity, Mortality, and Air Pollution Study (NMMAPS), a time-series study of 95 large U.S. urban centers from 1987 to 2000.
Both meta-analysis and NMMAPS results provided strong evidence of a short-term association between ozone and mortality, with larger effects for cardiovascular and respiratory mortality, the elderly, and current-day ozone exposure. In both analyses, results were insensitive to adjustment for particulate matter and model specifications. In the meta-analysis, a 10-ppb increase in daily ozone at single-day or 2-day average of lags 0, 1, or 2 days was associated with an 0.87% increase in total mortality (95% posterior interval = 0.55% to 1.18%), whereas the lag 0 NMMAPS estimate is 0.25% (0.12% to 0.39%). Several findings indicate possible publication bias: meta-analysis results were consistently larger than those from NMMAPS; meta-analysis pooled estimates at lags 0 or 1 were larger when only a single lag was reported than when estimates for multiple lags were reported; and heterogeneity of city-specific estimates in the meta-analysis were larger than with NMMAPS.
This study provides evidence of short-term associations between ozone and mortality as well as evidence of publication bias.

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