International Statistical Review

Health Effects of Air Pollution:\\ A Statistical Review

Francesca Dominici, Lianne Sheppard, and Merlise Clyde

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We critically review and compare epidemiological designs and statistical approaches to estimate associations between air pollution and health. More specifically, we aim to address the following questions: \begin{enumerate} \item[1.]{\bf<i>Which epidemiological designs and statistical methods are available to estimate associations between air pollution and health?</i>} \item[2.]{\bf<i>What are the recent methodological advances in the estimation of the health effects of air pollution in time series studies?</i>} \item[3.]{\bf<i>What are the the main methodological challenges and future research opportunities relevant to regulatory policy?</i>} \end{enumerate} In question 1, we identify strengths and limitations of time series, cohort, case-crossover and panel sampling designs. In question 2, we focus on time series studies and we review statistical methods for: 1) combining information across multiple locations to estimate overall air pollution effects; 2) estimating the health effects of air pollution taking into account of model uncertainties; 3) investigating the consequences of exposure measurement error in the estimation of the health effects of air pollution; and 4) estimating air pollution-health exposure-response curves. Here, we also discuss the extent to which these statistical contributions have addressed key substantive questions. In question 3, within a set of policy-relevant-questions, we identify research opportunities and point out current data limitations.

Article information

Internat. Statist. Rev., Volume 71, Number 2 (2003), 243-276.

First available in Project Euclid: 18 November 2003

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Zentralblatt MATH identifier

Time series Air Pollution Epidemiological Designs Hierarchical Models Exposure Measurement error Model Choice


Dominici, Francesca; Sheppard, Lianne; Clyde, Merlise. Health Effects of Air Pollution:\\ A Statistical Review. Internat. Statist. Rev. 71 (2003), no. 2, 243--276.

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