The relation between air pollution and respiratory deaths in Tehran, Iran- using generalized additive models

Azizallah Dehghan, Narges Khanjani, Abbas Bahrampour, Gholamreza Goudarzi, Masoud Yunesian

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Background: Some epidemiological evidence has shown a relation between ambient air pollution and adverse health outcomes. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of air pollution on mortality from respiratory diseases in Tehran, Iran. Methods: In this ecological study, air pollution data was inquired from the Tehran Province Environmental Protection Agency and the Tehran Air Quality Control Company. Meteorological data was collected from the Tehran Meteorology Organization and mortality data from the Tehran Cemetery Mortality Registration. Generalized Additive Models (GAM) was used for data analysis with different lags, up to 15 days. A 10-unit increase in all pollutants except CO (1-unit) was used to compute the Relative Risk of deaths. Results: During 2005 until 2014, 37,967 respiratory deaths occurred in Tehran in which 21,913 (57.7%) were male. The strongest relationship between NO2 and PM10and respiratory death was seen on the same day (lag 0), and was respectively (RR = 1.04, 95% CI: 1.02-1.07) and (RR = 1.03, 95% CI: 1.02-1.04). O3 and PM2.5 had the strongest relationship with respiratory deaths on lag 2 and 1 respectively, and the RR was equal to 1.03, 95% CI: 1.01-1.05 and 1.06, 95% CI: 1.02-1.10 respectively. NO2, O3, PM10 and PM2.5 also showed significant relations with respiratory deaths in the older age groups. Conclusions: The findings of this study showed that O3, NO2, PM10 and PM2.5 air pollutants were related to respiratory deaths in Tehran. Reducing ambient air pollution can save lives in Tehran.

Original languageEnglish
Article number49
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2018


  • Air pollution
  • Death
  • Respiratory disease

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