The short-term effects of air pollution on daily mortality on four Australian cities

Document Type

Journal Article


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Natural Sciences / Centre for Ecosystem Management




Originally published as: Simpson, R., Williams, G., Petroeschevsky, A., Best, T., Morgan, G., Denison, L., ... & Neller, A. (2005). The short-term effects of air pollution on daily mortality in four Australian cities. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 29(3), 205-212. Original article available here


Objective: To examine the short-term health effects of air pollution on daily mortality in four Australian cities (Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney), where more than 50% of Australians reside. Methods: The study used a similar protocol to APHEA2 (Air Pollution and Health: A European Approach) study and derived single-city and pooled estimates. Results: The results derived from the different approaches for the 1996-99 period showed consistent results for different statistical models used. There were significant effects on total mortality, (RR=1.0284 per 1 unit increase in nephelometry [10-4. m-1], RR=1.0011 per 1ppb increase in NO2), and on respiratory mortality (RR=1.0022 per 1ppb increase in O3). No significant differences between cities were found, but the NO2 and particle effects may refer to the same impacts. Meta-analyses carried out for three cities yielded estimates for the increase in the daily total number of deaths of 0.2% (-0.8% to 1.2%) for a 10 μg/m3 increase in PM10 concentration, and 0.9% (-0.7% to 2.5%) for a 10 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentration. Conclusions: Air pollutants in Australian cities have significant effects on mortality.



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