Cohort studies of long-term exposure to outdoor particulate matter and risks of cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Pei Yu, Suying Guo, Rongbin Xu, Tingting Ye, Shanshan Li, Malcolm R. Sim, Michael J. Abramson, Yuming Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Robust evidence is needed for the hazardous effects of outdoor particulate matter (PM) on mortality and morbidity from all types of cancers. To summarize and meta-analyze the association between PM and cancer, published articles reporting associations between outdoor PM exposure and any type of cancer with individual outcome assessment that provided a risk estimate in cohort studies were identified via systematic searches. Of 3,256 records, 47 studies covering 13 cancer sites (30 for lung cancer, 12 for breast cancer, 11 for other cancers) were included in the quantitative evaluation. The pooled relative risks (RRs) for lung cancer incidence or mortality associated with every 10-μg/m3 PM2.5 or PM10 were 1.16 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10–1.23; I2 = 81%) or 1.22 (95% CI, 1.02–1.45; I2 = 96%), respectively. Increased but non-significant risks were found for breast cancer. Other cancers were shown to be associated with PM exposure in some studies but not consistently and thus warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100143
Number of pages14
JournalThe Innovation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2021


  • air pollution
  • cancer
  • meta-analysis
  • particulate matter
  • systematic review

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