Ambient PM2.5 Reduces Global and Regional Life Expectancy

Joshua Apte, Michael Brauer, Aaron J. Cohen, Majid Ezzati, C. Arden Pope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Exposure to ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution is a major risk for premature death. Here, we systematically quantify the global impact of PM2.5 on life expectancy. Using data from the Global Burden of Disease project and actuarial standard life table methods, we estimate global and national decrements in life expectancy that can be attributed to ambient PM2.5 for 185 countries. In 2016, PM2.5 exposure reduced average global life expectancy at birth by ∼1 year with reductions of ∼1.2-1.9 years in polluted countries of Asia and Africa. If PM2.5 in all countries met the World Health Organization Air Quality Guideline (10 μg m-3), we estimate life expectancy could increase by a population-weighted median of 0.6 year (interquartile range of 0.2-1.0 year), a benefit of a magnitude similar to that of eradicating lung and breast cancer. Because background disease rates modulate the effect of air pollution on life expectancy, high age-specific rates of cardiovascular disease in many polluted low- and middle-income countries amplify the impact of PM2.5 on survival. Our analysis adds to prior research by illustrating how mortality from air pollution substantially reduces human longevity.

LanguageEnglish (US)
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology Letters
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

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life expectancy
Life Expectancy
Air pollution
Air Pollution
Life Tables
atmospheric pollution
Particulate Matter
Air quality
Health
Premature Mortality
life table
cardiovascular disease
World Health Organization
particulate matter
cancer
Lung Neoplasms
air quality
Cardiovascular Diseases
Air
Parturition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

Ambient PM2.5 Reduces Global and Regional Life Expectancy. / Apte, Joshua; Brauer, Michael; Cohen, Aaron J.; Ezzati, Majid; Pope, C. Arden.

In: Environmental Science and Technology Letters, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Apte, Joshua ; Brauer, Michael ; Cohen, Aaron J. ; Ezzati, Majid ; Pope, C. Arden. / Ambient PM2.5 Reduces Global and Regional Life Expectancy. In: Environmental Science and Technology Letters. 2018.
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