Details of Publication 773 for Project A534B:

Lazarevic N, Dobson AJ, Barnett AG & Knibbs, LD. Long-term ambient air pollution exposure and self-reported morbidity in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open, 2015; 5(10): e008714

Objective: We sought to assess the effect of long-term exposure to ambient air pollution on the prevalence of self-reported health outcomes in Australian women.Design: Cross-sectional study.Setting and participants: The geocoded residential addresses of 26 991 women across 3 age cohorts in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health between 2006 and 2011 were linked to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exposure estimates from a land-use regression model. Annual average NO2 concentrations and residential proximity to roads were used as proxies of exposure to ambient air pollution.Outcome measures: Self-reported disease presence for diabetes mellitus, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and self-reported symptoms of allergies, breathing difficulties, chest pain and palpitations.Methods: Disease prevalence was modelled by population-averaged Poisson regression models estimated by generalised estimating equations. Associations between symptoms and ambient air pollution were modelled by multilevel mixed logistic regression. Spatial clustering was accounted for at the postcode level.Results: No associations were observed between any of the outcome and exposure variables considered at the 1% significance level after adjusting for known risk factors and confounders.Conclusions Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution was not associated with self-reported disease prevalence in Australian women. The observed results may have been due to exposure and outcome misclassification, lack of power to detect weak associations or an actual absence of associations with self-reported outcomes at the relatively low annual average air pollution exposure levels across Australia.