Grand Rounds: What goes into a number? Estimating the global disease burden from outdoor air pollution
Ambient air pollution is associated with a considerable, and growing, burden of global disease. In 2000, the World Health Organization estimated that fine particulate air pollution caused 800,000 deaths and 6.4 million lost years of healthy life in the world’s major cities, with developing countries of South and East Asia accounting for two-thirds of this burden. As part of the Global Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) 2010 Study, much more extensive estimates of global air pollution exposure and disease burden have been developed. This presentation will review the methodology used to develop these estimates, with an emphasis on novel approaches. From an exposure perspective, in 2005, 89% of the world’s population lived in areas where the World Health Organization Air Quality Guideline for particulate matter was exceeded. Between 1990 and 2005 a 6% increase in global population-weighted particulate matter and a 1% decrease in global population-weighted ozone concentrations was apparent, highlighted by increases in East, South and Southeast Asia and decreases in North America and Europe. Coupled with demographic transitions and increasing evidence of the magnitude and scope of air pollution-related health impacts, a substantially larger attributable disease burden is apparent and forecasted for the future.
Speaker: Michael Brauer