Long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution and mortality in Shizuoka, Japan

Takashi Yorifuji, Saori Kashima, Toshihide Tsuda, Soshi Takao, Etsuji Suzuki, Hiroyuki Doi, Masumi Sugiyama, Kazuko Ishikawa-Takata, Toshiki Ohta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The number of studies investigating the health effects of long-term exposure to air pollution is increasing, however, most studies have been conducted in Western countries. The health status of Asian populations may be different to that of Western populations and may, therefore, respond differently to air pollution exposure. Therefore, we evaluated the health effects of long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution in Shizuoka, Japan. Methods: Individual data were extracted from participants of an ongoing cohort study. A total of 14 001 older residents, who were randomly chosen from all 74 municipalities of Shizuoka, completed questionnaires and were followed from December 1999 to March 2006. Individual nitrogen dioxide exposure data, as an index for traffic-related exposure, were modelled using a land use regression model. We assigned participants an estimated concentration of nitrogen dioxide exposure during 2000e2006. We then estimated the adjusted HR and their CI for a 10 μg/m3 increase in exposure to nitrogen dioxide for all-cause or cause-specific mortality. Results: The adjusted HR for all-cause mortality was 1.02 (95% CI 0.96 to 1.08). Regarding cause-specific mortality, the adjusted HR for cardiopulmonary mortality was 1.16 (95% CI 1.06 to 1.26); in particular the adjusted HR for ischaemic heart disease mortality was 1.27 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.58) and for pulmonary disease mortality it was 1.19 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.38). Furthermore, among non-smokers, a 10 μg/m3 increase in nitrogen dioxide was associated with a higher risk for lung cancer mortality (HR 1.30, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.93). Conclusion: Long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution, indexed by nitrogen dioxide concentration, increases the risk of cardiopulmonary mortality, even in a population with a relatively low body mass index and increases the risk of lung cancer mortality in non-smokers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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