Associations between ambient air pollutants and hospital admissions: more needs to be done

Jill J. F. Belch (Lead / Corresponding author), Catherine Fitton (Lead / Corresponding author), Bianca Cox, James D. Chalmers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
108 Downloads (Pure)


Deaths from air pollution in the UK are higher by a factor of 10 than from car crashes, 7 for drug-related deaths and 52 for murders, and yet awareness seems to be lacking in local government. We conducted an 18-year retrospective cohort study using routinely collected health care records from Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, and Perth Royal Infirmary, in Tayside, Scotland, UK, from 2000 to 2017. Hospitalisation events and deaths were linked to daily nitric oxides (NOX, NO, NO2), and particulate matter 10 (PM10) levels extracted from publicly available data over this same time period. Distributed lag models were used to estimate risk ratios for hospitalisation and mortality, adjusting for temperature, humidity, day of the week, month and public holiday. Nitric oxides and PM10 were associated with an increased risk of all hospital admissions and cardiovascular (CV) admissions on day of exposure to pollutant. This study shows a significant increase in all cause and CV hospital admissions, on high pollution days in Tayside, Scotland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61848-61852
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research International
Early online date30 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Air pollution
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Hospital admissions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Chemistry


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