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Influence of socioeconomic conditions on air pollution adverse health effects in elderly people: an analysis of six regions in São Paulo, Brazil
  1. M C H Martins1,
  2. F L Fatigati2,
  3. T C Véspoli3,
  4. L C Martins4,
  5. L A A Pereira4,
  6. M A Martins5,
  7. P H N Saldiva4,
  8. A L F Braga6
  1. 1São Paulo City Health Departments, Brazil
  2. 2São Paulo City Environment Departments, Brazil
  3. 3São Paulo City Planning Departments, Brazil
  4. 4Laboratory of Experimental Air Pollution, Department of Pathology, University of São Paulo Medical School, Brazil
  5. 5Laboratory of Experimental Air Pollution Department of Medicine, University of São Paulo Medical School
  6. 6Environmental Paediatrics Program, University of Santo Amaro Medical School, São Paulo, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor A L F Braga
 Programa de Pediatria Ambiental, Faculdade de Medicina de Santo Amaro–UNISA/, Hospital Geral do Grajaú, Rua Francisco Octávio Pacca, 180, 4° Andar, CEP 04822-320, Grajaú, São Paulo, SP, Brazil;


Study objective: To evaluate if the effects of particulate matter (PM10) on respiratory mortality of elderly people are affected by socioeconomic status.

Design: Time series studies. The daily number of elderly respiratory deaths were modelled in generalised linear Poisson regression models controlling for long term trend, weather, and day of the week, from January 1997 to December 1999, in six different regions of São Paulo City, Brazil. The regions were defined according to the proximity of air pollution monitoring stations. Three socioeconomic indicators were used: college education, monthly income, and housing.

Main results: For a 10 μg/m3 increase in PM10, the percentage increase in respiratory mortality varied from 1.4% (95% CI 5.9 to 8.7) to 14.2% (95% CI 0.4 to 28.0). The overall percentage increase in the six regions was 5.4% (95% CI 2.3 to 8.6). The effect of PM10 was negatively correlated with both percentage of people with college education and high family income, and it was positively associated with the percentage of people living in slums.

Conclusions: These results suggest that socioeconomic deprivation represents an effect modifier of the association between air pollution and respiratory deaths.

  • OD, origin-desitnation zone
  • PRO-AIM, Municipal Mortality Information Improvement Program
  • air pollution
  • inhalable particles
  • respiratory mortality
  • elderly population
  • socioeconomic status
  • effect modifier

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  • Funding: LIM05 and LIM20-FMUSP, UNISA, and São Paulo City Health Department supported this work.

  • Conflicts of interest: none declared.