Association of Particulate Matter Components with Daily Mortality and Morbidity in Urban Populations

Dr Morton Lippmann and colleagues at the New York University School of Medicine attempted to identify and characterize components of PM and other air pollution mixtures that were associated with excess daily deaths and elderly hospital admissions in and around the area of Detroit, Michigan. Using publicly available data from 1985-1990 and 1992-1994, the investigators used statistical models to weigh the strength of one pollutant or two pollutants concurrently. To better assess relationships between pollutants and health outcomes, the authors evaluated the extent to which (1) air pollutants tended to vary together in space and time, (2) results depended on the specific location where pollutants were sampled, and (3) results were influenced by multiple hospital admissions of some individuals in the study population during the study period. The main statistical method used was Poisson regression, with a generalized additive model to adjust for the effects of time trends, meteorologic differences, and other variables.