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Association between annoyance and individuals’ values of nitrogen dioxide in a European setting
  1. B Jacquemin1,
  2. J Sunyer1,2,
  3. B Forsberg3,
  4. I Aguilera1,
  5. D Briggs4,
  6. T Götschi5,
  7. J Heinrich6,
  8. K Torén7,
  9. D Vienneau4,
  10. N Künzli1,5,8
  1. 1
    Municipal Institute of Medical Research, Barcelona, Spain
  2. 2
    Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
  3. 3
    Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
  4. 4
    Imperial College, London, UK
  5. 5
    University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
  6. 6
    GSF Institute of Epidemiology, Munich, Germany
  7. 7
    Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden
  8. 8
    Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats, Barcelona, Spain
  1. B Jacquemin, Inserm U780, Epidémiologie et Biostatistique, 16, avenue Paul Vaillant Couturier, 94807 Villejuif Cedex, France; benedicte.jacquemin{at}inserm.fr

Abstract

Introduction: Annoyance caused by air pollution has been proposed as an indicator of exposure to air pollution. The aim of this study was to assess the geographical homogeneity of the relationship between annoyance and modelled home-based nitrogen dioxide (NO2) measurements.

Methods: The European Community Respiratory Health Survey II was conducted in 2000–1, in 25 European centres in 12 countries. This analysis included 4753 subjects (from 37 in Tartu, Estonia, to 532 in Antwerp, Belgium) who answered the annoyance question and with available outdoor residential NO2 (4399 modelled and 354 measured) including 20 cities from 10 countries. Annoyance as a result of air pollution was self-reported on an 11-point scale (0, no disturbance at all; 10, intolerable disturbance). Demographic and socioeconomic factors, smoking status and the presence of respiratory symptoms or disease were measured through a standard questionnaire. Negative binomial regression was used.

Results: The median NO2 concentration was 27 μg.m−3 (from 10 in Umeå, Sweden, to 57 in Barcelona, Spain). The mean of annoyance was 2.5 (from 0.7 in Reykjavik, Iceland, to 4.4 in Huelva, Spain). NO2 was associated with annoyance (ratio of the mean score 1.26 per 10 μg.m−3, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.34). The association between NO2 and annoyance was heterogeneous among cities (p for heterogeneity <0.001).

Conclusions: Annoyance is associated with home outdoor air pollution but with a different strength by city. This indicates that annoyance is not a valid surrogate for air pollution exposure. Nevertheless, it may be a useful measure of perceived ambient air quality and could be considered a complementary tool for health surveillance.

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Footnotes

  • Funding: The coordination of ECRHS II was supported by the European Commission, as part of their Quality of Life programme. The following bodies funded the local studies in ECRHS II included in this paper: Albacete: Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias (FIS) (grant code 97/0035-01, 99/0034-01 and 99/0034-02), Hospital Universitario de Albacete, Consejería de Sanidad; Antwerp: FWO (Fund for Scientific Research), Flanders, Belgium (grant code G.0402.00), University of Antwerp, Flemish Health Ministry; Barcelona: SEPAR, Public Health Service (grant code R01 HL62633-01), Fondo de Investigaciones Santarias (FIS) (grant code 97/0035-01, 99/0034-01 and 99/0034-02) CIRIT (grant code 1999SGR 00241) “Instituto de Salud Carlos III” Red de Centros RCESP, C03/09 and Red RESPIRA, C03/011; Basel: Swiss National Science Foundation, Swiss Federal Office for Education & Science, Swiss National Accident Insurance Fund (SUVA); Bergen: Norwegian Research Council, Norwegian Asthma & Allergy Association (NAAF), Glaxo Wellcome AS, Norway Research Fund; Bordeaux: Institut Pneumologique d’Aquitaine; Erfurt: GSF-National Research Centre for Environment & Health, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (grant code FR 1526/1-1); Galdakao: Basque Health Dept; Göteborg: Swedish Heart Lung Foundation, Swedish Foundation for Health Care Sciences & Allergy Research, Swedish Asthma & Allergy Foundation, Swedish Cancer & Allergy Foundation; Grenoble: Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique-DRC de Grenoble 2000 no 2610, Ministry of Health, Direction de la Recherche Clinique, Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité, Direction Générale de la Santé, CHU de Grenoble, Comite des Maladies Respiratoires de l’Isère; Hamburg: GSF-National Research Centre for Environment & Health, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (grant code MA 711/4-1); Ipswich and Norwich: National Asthma Campaign (UK); Huelva: Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias (FIS) (grant code 97/0035-01, 99/0034-01 and 99/0034-02); Montpellier: Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique-DRC de Grenoble 2000 no 2610, Ministry of Health, Direction de la Recherche Clinique, CHU de Grenoble, Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité, Direction Générale de la Santé, Aventis (France), Direction Régionale des Affaires Sanitaires et Sociales Languedoc-Roussillon; Oviedo: Fondo de Investigaciones Santarias (FIS) (grant code 97/0035-01, 99/0034-01 and 99/0034-02); Paris: Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité, Direction Générale de la Santé, UCB-Pharma (France), Aventis (France), Glaxo France, Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique-DRC de Grenoble 2000 no 2610, Ministry of Health, Direction de la Recherche Clinique, CHU de Grenoble; Pavia: Glaxo-SmithKline Italy, Italian Ministry of University and Scientific and Technological Research (MURST), Local University Funding for research 1998 & 1999 (Pavia, Italy); Reykjavik: Icelandic Research Council, Icelandic University Hospital Fund; Tartu: Estonian Science Foundation; Turin: ASL 4 Regione Piemonte (Italy), AO CTO/ICORMA Regione Piemonte (Italy), Ministero dell’Universitè e della Ricerca Scientifica (Italy), Glaxo Wellcome spa (Verona, Italy); Umeå: Swedish Heart Lung Foundation, Swedish Foundation for Health Care Sciences & Allergy Research, Swedish Asthma & Allergy Foundation, Swedish Cancer & Allergy Foundation; Uppsala: Swedish Heart Lung Foundation, Swedish Foundation for Health Care Sciences & Allergy Research, Swedish Asthma & Allergy Foundation, Swedish Cancer & Allergy Foundation; Verona: University of Verona; Italian Ministry of University and Scientific and Technological Research (MURST); Glaxo-SmithKline Italy. The APMoSPHERE study (EVK2-2002-00577) was a multi-centre project, funded under the EU Fifth Framework Programme as part of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative. It was led by Prof David Briggs (Imperial College London) and co-principal investigators were Dr Asbjorn Aaheim (Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research, Oslo), Dr Gerard Hoek (Utrecht University), Dr Mike Petrakis (National Observatory of Athens) and Dr Gavin Shaddick (University of Bath).

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: Ethics approval was obtained for each centre from the appropriate institutional or regional ethics committee.

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