Volume 26 (2016) Issue 5 Pages 249-257
Background: Seasonal variation and regional heterogeneity have been observed in the estimated effect of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) mass on mortality. Differences in the chemical compositions of PM2.5 may cause this variation. We investigated the association of the daily concentration of PM2.5 components with mortality in Nagoya, Japan.
Methods: We combined daily mortality counts for all residents aged 65 years and older with concentration data for PM2.5 mass and components in Nagoya from April 2003 to December 2007. A time-stratified case-crossover design was used to examine the association of daily mortality with PM2.5 mass and each component (chloride, nitrate, sulfate, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, ammonium, elemental carbon [EC], and organic carbon [OC]).
Results: We found a stronger association between mortality and PM2.5 mass in transitional seasons. In analysis for each PM2.5 component, sulfate, nitrate, chloride, ammonium, potassium, EC, and OC were significantly associated with mortality in a single-pollutant model. In a multi-pollutant model, an interquartile range increase in the concentration of sulfate was marginally associated with an increase in all-cause mortality of 2.1% (95% confidence interval, −0.1 to 4.4).
Conclusions: These findings suggest that some specific PM components have a more hazardous effect than others and contribute to seasonal variation in the health effects of PM2.5.