Our objective is to analyse the association between long term ozone exposure and cardiovascular related mortality while accounting for climate, location, and socioeconomic factors. We assigned subjects with 16 years of follow-up in the Canadian Census Health and Environment Cohort (CanCHEC) to one of seven regions based on spatial synoptic classification (SSC) weather types and examined the interaction of exposure to both fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ground level ozone and cause of death using survival analysis, while adjusting for socioeconomic characteristics and individual confounders. Correlations between ozone and PM2.5 varied across SSC zones from -0.02 to 0.7. Comparing zones using the most populated SSC zone as a reference, a 10 ppb increase in ozone exposure was associated with increases in hazard ratios (HRs) that ranged from 1.007 (95% CI 0.99, 1.015) to 1.03 (95% CI 1.02, 1.041) for cardiovascular disease, 1.013 (95% CI 0.996, 1.03) to 1.058 (95% CI 1.034, 1.082) for cerebrovascular disease, and 1.02 (95% CI 1.006, 1.034) for ischemic heart disease. HRs remained significant after adjustment for PM2.5. Long term exposure to ozone is related to an increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases; the risk varies by location across Canada and is not attenuated by adjustment for PM2.5. This research shows that the SSC can be used to define geographic regions and it demonstrates the importance of accounting for that spatial variability when studying the long term health effects of air pollution.
- Air pollution
- Climate zones
- Environmental health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis