Effects of air pollution on the risk of acute myocardial infarction in Charleroi, Belgium


Atmospheric pollution would increase morbidity and mortality rates for various respiratory illnesses in urban areas, and could also be an explanatory factor of higher rates of myocardial infarction in Charleroi compared with the other Belgian cities. The present study investigates the health effects of acute exposure to air pollution on cardiovascular morbidity/mortality in Charleroi. The study is based on comparing hospital data taken from the registry of ischaemic cardiopathies in Charleroi (1999 to 2008) to data on the air quality in this region. To measure the association between atmospheric pollution and the number of cases of myocardial infarction, Poisson regression was carried out. The excess risk of myocardial infarction was analysed according to the month of admission. For men, a decrease in the attack rate of myocardial infarction is visible during the first three years of the study, later to remain stable. For women, attack rates are stable throughout the study. Most of the pollutants vary according to season. Except for ozone, concentrations are generally higher in winter. We observe an association between the concentrations of PM10 and NO2 and morbidity/mortality by acute myocardial infarction. The increased risk for an increase of 10 μg/m3 of pollutant is 1.8% for PM10 and 4.0% for NO2. Multivariate models must still be developed and applied to our data.

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Coppieters, Y. , Collart, P. , Mercier, G. , Massamba, V. , Bouland, C. and Levêque, A. (2013) Effects of air pollution on the risk of acute myocardial infarction in Charleroi, Belgium. Open Journal of Epidemiology, 3, 44-52. doi: 10.4236/ojepi.2013.32008.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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