Concentration-response relationships between hourly particulate matter and ischemic events: A case-crossover analysis of effect modification by season and air-mass origin

Ronit Nirel, Ilan Levy, Sara D. Adar, Bella Vakulenko-Lagun, Alon Peretz, Michal Golovner, Uri Dayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most studies linking cardiovascular disease with particulate matter (PM) exposures have focused on total mass concentrations, regardless of their origin. However, the origin of an air mass is inherently linked to particle composition and possible toxicity. We examine how the concentration-response relation between hourly PM exposure and ischemic events is modified by air-mass origin and season. Using telemedicine data, we conducted a case-crossover study of 1855 confirmed ischemic cardiac events in Israel (2005–2013). Based on measurements at three fixed-sites in Tel Aviv and Haifa, ambient PM with diameter < 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and 2.5–10 μm (PM102.5) concentrations during the hours before event onset were compared with matched control periods using conditional logistic regression that allowed for non-linearity. We also examined effect modification of these associations based on the geographical origin of each air mass by season. Independent of the geographical origin of the air mass, we observed concentration-response curves that were supralinear. For example, the overall odds ratios (ORs) of ischemic events for an increase of 10-μg/m3 in the 2-h average of PM102.5 were 1.08 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.03–1.14) and 1.00 (0.99–1.01) at the median (17.8 μg/m3) and 95th percentile (82.3 μg/m3) values, respectively. Associations were strongest at low levels of PM102.5 when air comes from central Europe in the summer (OR: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.52). Our study demonstrates that hourly associations between PM2.5 and PM102.5 and ischemic cardiac events are supralinear during diverse pollution conditions in a single population that experiences a wide range of exposure levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number143407
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by the Environment and Health Fund (EHF) (grant number RG1201). The EHF had no involvement in study design, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, in the writing of the report, and in the decision to submit the article for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Air mass back-trajectory
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Coarse particulate matter
  • Exposure-response curve
  • Short-term exposure
  • Telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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