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1.  Short-term Associations between Fine and Coarse Particulate Matter and Hospitalizations in Southern Europe: Results from the MED-PARTICLES Project 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2013;121(9):1026-1033.
Background: Evidence on the short-term effects of fine and coarse particles on morbidity in Europe is scarce and inconsistent.
Objectives: We aimed to estimate the association between daily concentrations of fine and coarse particles with hospitalizations for cardiovascular and respiratory conditions in eight Southern European cities, within the MED-PARTICLES project.
Methods: City-specific Poisson models were fitted to estimate associations of daily concentrations of particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5), ≤ 10 μm (PM10), and their difference (PM2.5–10) with daily counts of emergency hospitalizations for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. We derived pooled estimates from random-effects meta-analysis and evaluated the robustness of results to co-pollutant exposure adjustment and model specification. Pooled concentration–response curves were estimated using a meta-smoothing approach.
Results: We found significant associations between all PM fractions and cardiovascular admissions. Increases of 10 μg/m3 in PM2.5, 6.3 μg/m3 in PM2.5–10, and 14.4 μg/m3 in PM10 (lag 0–1 days) were associated with increases in cardiovascular admissions of 0.51% (95% CI: 0.12, 0.90%), 0.46% (95% CI: 0.10, 0.82%), and 0.53% (95% CI: 0.06, 1.00%), respectively. Stronger associations were estimated for respiratory hospitalizations, ranging from 1.15% (95% CI: 0.21, 2.11%) for PM10 to 1.36% (95% CI: 0.23, 2.49) for PM2.5 (lag 0–5 days).
Conclusions: PM2.5 and PM2.5–10 were positively associated with cardiovascular and respiratory admissions in eight Mediterranean cities. Information on the short-term effects of different PM fractions on morbidity in Southern Europe will be useful to inform European policies on air quality standards.
Citation: Stafoggia M, Samoli E, Alessandrini E, Cadum E, Ostro B, Berti G, Faustini A, Jacquemin B, Linares C, Pascal M, Randi G, Ranzi A, Stivanello E, Forastiere F, the MED-PARTICLES Study Group. 2013. Short-term associations between fine and coarse particulate matter and hospitalizations in Southern Europe: results from the MED-PARTICLES project. Environ Health Perspect 121:1026–1033; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1206151
doi:10.1289/ehp.1206151
PMCID: PMC3764077  PMID: 23777832
2.  Associations between Fine and Coarse Particles and Mortality in Mediterranean Cities: Results from the MED-PARTICLES Project 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2013;121(8):932-938.
Background: Few studies have investigated the independent health effects of different size fractions of particulate matter (PM) in multiple locations, especially in Europe.
Objectives: We estimated the short-term effects of PM with aerodynamic diameter ≤ 10 μm (PM10), ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5), and between 2.5 and 10 μm (PM2.5–10) on all-cause, cardiovascular, and respiratory mortality in 10 European Mediterranean metropolitan areas within the MED-PARTICLES project.
Methods: We analyzed data from each city using Poisson regression models, and combined city-specific estimates to derive overall effect estimates. We evaluated the sensitivity of our estimates to co-pollutant exposures and city-specific model choice, and investigated effect modification by age, sex, and season. We applied distributed lag and threshold models to investigate temporal patterns of associations.
Results: A 10-μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 was associated with a 0.55% (95% CI: 0.27, 0.84%) increase in all-cause mortality (0–1 day cumulative lag), and a 1.91% increase (95% CI: 0.71, 3.12%) in respiratory mortality (0–5 day lag). In general, associations were stronger for cardiovascular and respiratory mortality than all-cause mortality, during warm versus cold months, and among those ≥ 75 versus < 75 years of age. Associations with PM2.5–10 were positive but not statistically significant in most analyses, whereas associations with PM10 seemed to be driven by PM2.5.
Conclusions: We found evidence of adverse effects of PM2.5 on mortality outcomes in the European Mediterranean region. Associations with PM2.5–10 were positive but smaller in magnitude. Associations were stronger for respiratory mortality when cumulative exposures were lagged over 0–5 days, and were modified by season and age.
doi:10.1289/ehp.1206124
PMCID: PMC3734494  PMID: 23687008
coarse particles; fine particles; Mediterranean; mortality; particulate matter; time series
3.  Computed Tomography Measurement of Rib Cage Morphometry in Emphysema 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68546.
Background
Factors determining the shape of the human rib cage are not completely understood. We aimed to quantify the contribution of anthropometric and COPD-related changes to rib cage variability in adult cigarette smokers.
Methods
Rib cage diameters and areas (calculated from the inner surface of the rib cage) in 816 smokers with or without COPD, were evaluated at three anatomical levels using computed tomography (CT). CTs were analyzed with software, which allows quantification of total emphysema (emphysema%). The relationship between rib cage measurements and anthropometric factors, lung function indices, and %emphysema were tested using linear regression models.
Results
A model that included gender, age, BMI, emphysema%, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1)%, and forced vital capacity (FVC)% fit best with the rib cage measurements (R2 = 64% for the rib cage area variation at the lower anatomical level). Gender had the biggest impact on rib cage diameter and area (105.3 cm2; 95% CI: 111.7 to 98.8 for male lower area). Emphysema% was responsible for an increase in size of upper and middle CT areas (up to 5.4 cm2; 95% CI: 3.0 to 7.8 for an emphysema increase of 5%). Lower rib cage areas decreased as FVC% decreased (5.1 cm2; 95% CI: 2.5 to 7.6 for 10 percentage points of FVC variation).
Conclusions
This study demonstrates that simple CT measurements can predict rib cage morphometric variability and also highlight relationships between rib cage morphometry and emphysema.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068546
PMCID: PMC3729561  PMID: 23935872
4.  Alcohol Consumption and Lung Cancer Risk in the Environment and Genetics in Lung Cancer Etiology (EAGLE) Study 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2009;171(1):36-44.
The authors investigated the relation between alcohol consumption and lung cancer risk in the Environment and Genetics in Lung Cancer Etiology (EAGLE) Study, a population-based case-control study. Between 2002 and 2005, 2,100 patients with primary lung cancer were recruited from 13 hospitals within the Lombardy region of Italy and were frequency-matched on sex, area of residence, and age to 2,120 randomly selected controls. Alcohol consumption during adulthood was assessed in 1,855 cases and 2,065 controls. Data on lifetime tobacco smoking, diet, education, and anthropometric measures were collected. Adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for categories of mean daily ethanol intake were calculated using unconditional logistic regression. Overall, both nondrinkers (odds ratio = 1.42, 95% confidence interval: 1.03, 2.01) and very heavy drinkers (≥60 g/day; odds ratio = 1.44, 95% confidence interval: 1.01, 2.07) were at significantly greater risk than very light drinkers (0.1–4.9 g/day). The alcohol effect was modified by smoking behavior, with no excess risk being observed in never smokers. In summary, heavy alcohol consumption was a risk factor for lung cancer among smokers in this study. Although residual confounding by tobacco smoking cannot be ruled out, this finding may reflect interplay between alcohol and smoking, emphasizing the need for preventive measures.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwp332
PMCID: PMC2800301  PMID: 19933698
alcohol drinking; case-control studies; ethanol; lung neoplasms; risk factors; smoking
5.  Intakes of red meat, processed meat, and meat-mutagens increase lung cancer risk 
Cancer research  2009;69(3):932-939.
Red and processed meat intake may increase lung cancer risk. However, the epidemiologic evidence is inconsistent and few studies have evaluated the role of meat-mutagens formed during high cooking temperatures. We investigated the association of red meat, processed meat, and meat-mutagen intake with lung cancer risk in Environment And Genetics in Lung cancer Etiology (EAGLE), a population-based case-control study. Primary lung cancer cases (n=2101) were recruited from 13 hospitals within the Lombardy region of Italy examining ~80% of the cases from the area. Non-cancer population controls (n=2120), matched to cases on gender, residence, and age, were randomly selected from the same catchment area. Diet was assessed in 1903 cases and 2073 controls, and used in conjunction with a meat-mutagen database to estimate intake of heterocyclic amines and benzo[a]pyrene. Multivariable odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for sex-specific tertiles of intake were calculated using unconditional logistic regression. Red and processed meat were positively associated with lung cancer risk (highest-versus-lowest tertile: OR=1.8; 95% CI=1.5–2.2; p-trend<0.001 and OR=1.7; 95% CI=1.4–2.1; p-trend<0.001, respectively); the risks were strongest among never smokers (OR=2.4, 95% CI=1.4–4.0, p-trend=0.001 and OR=2.5, 95% CI=1.5–4.2, p-trend=0.001, respectively). Heterocyclic amines and benzo[a]pyrene were significantly associated with increased risk of lung cancer. When separated by histology, significant positive associations for both meat groups were restricted to adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, but not small cell carcinoma of the lung. In summary, red meat, processed meat, and meat-mutagens were independently associated with increased risk of lung cancer.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-3162
PMCID: PMC2720759  PMID: 19141639
red meat; processed meat; meat-mutagens; cooking methods; lung cancer
6.  HPV type infection in different anogenital sites among HIV-positive Brazilian women 
Objectives
To evaluate the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) types, and risk factors for HPV positivity across cervix, vagina and anus, we conducted a study among 138 women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Goal
Compare the prevalence of different HPV types and the risk factors for HPV positivity in three sites.
Results
The most frequently detected HPV types in all sites were, in decreasing order, HPV16, 53, 18, 61 and 81. Agreement between the cervix and vagina was good (kappa 0.60 – 0.80) for HPV16 and 53 and excellent (Kappa > 0.80) for HPV18 and 61. HPV positivity was inversely associated with age for all combinations including the anal site.
Conclusion
In HIV positive women, HPV18 is the most spread HPV type found in combinations of anal and genital sites. The relationship of anal to genital infection has implications for the development of anal malignancies. Thus, the efficacy of the current HPV vaccine may be considered not only for the cervix, but also for prevention of HPV18 anal infection among immunossuppressed individuals.
doi:10.1186/1750-9378-3-5
PMCID: PMC2358880  PMID: 18341690

Results 1-6 (6)