Long-Term Exposure to Fine Particle Elemental Components and Natural and Cause-Specific Mortality-a Pooled Analysis of Eight European Cohorts within the ELAPSE Project

Jie Chen, Sophia Rodopoulou, Kees de Hoogh, Maciej Strak, Zorana J. Andersen, Richard Atkinson, Mariska Bauwelinck, Tom Bellander, Jørgen Brandt, Giulia Cesaroni, Hans Concin, Daniela Fecht, Francesco Forastiere, John Gulliver, Ole Hertel, Barbara Hoffmann, Ulla Arthur Hvidtfeldt, Nicole A.H. Janssen, Karl Heinz Jöckel, Jeanette JørgensenKlea Katsouyanni, Matthias Ketzel, Jochem O. Klompmaker, Anton Lager, Karin Leander, Shuo Liu, Petter Ljungman, Conor J. MacDonald, Patrik K.E. Magnusson, Amar Mehta, Gabriele Nagel, Bente Oftedal, Göran Pershagen, Annette Peters, Ole Raaschou-Nielsen, Matteo Renzi, Debora Rizzuto, Evangelia Samoli, Yvonne T. van der Schouw, Sara Schramm, Per Schwarze, Torben Sigsgaard, Mette Sørensen, Massimo Stafoggia, Anne Tjønneland, Danielle Vienneau, Gudrun Weinmayr, Kathrin Wolf, Bert Brunekreef, Gerard Hoek

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)


    BACKGROUND: Inconsistent associations between long-term exposure to particles with an aerodynamic diameter ≤2:5 lm [fine particulate matter (PM 2:5)] components and mortality have been reported, partly related to challenges in exposure assessment. OBJECTIVES: We investigated the associations between long-term exposure to PM 2:5 elemental components and mortality in a large pooled European cohort; to compare health effects of PM 2:5 components estimated with two exposure modeling approaches, namely, supervised linear regression (SLR) and random forest (RF) algorithms. METHODS: We pooled data from eight European cohorts with 323,782 participants, average age 49 y at baseline (1985–2005). Residential exposure to 2010 annual average concentration of eight PM 2:5 components [copper (Cu), iron (Fe), potassium (K), nickel (Ni), sulfur (S), silicon (Si), vanadium (V), and zinc (Zn)] was estimated with Europe-wide SLR and RF models at a 100 × 100 m scale. We applied Cox proportional hazards models to investigate the associations between components and natural and cause-specific mortality. In addition, two-pollutant analyses were conducted by adjusting each component for PM 2:5 mass and nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) separately. RESULTS: We observed 46,640 natural-cause deaths with 6,317,235 person-years and an average follow-up of 19.5 y. All SLR-modeled components were statistically significantly associated with natural-cause mortality in single-pollutant models with hazard ratios (HRs) from 1.05 to 1.27. Similar HRs were observed for RF-modeled Cu, Fe, K, S, V, and Zn with wider confidence intervals (CIs). HRs for SLR-modeled Ni, S, Si, V, and Zn remained above unity and (almost) significant after adjustment for both PM 2:5 and NO 2. HRs only remained (almost) significant for RF-modeled K and V in two-pollutant models. The HRs for V were 1.03 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.05) and 1.06 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.10) for SLR-and RF-modeled exposures, respectively, per 2 ng=m 3, adjusting for PM 2:5 mass. Associations with cause-specific mortality were less consistent in two-pollutant models. CONCLUSION: Long-term exposure to V in PM 2:5 was most consistently associated with increased mortality. Associations for the other components were weaker for exposure modeled with RF than SLR in two-pollutant models. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP8368.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number047009
    Pages (from-to)47009
    Number of pages1
    JournalEnvironmental health perspectives
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


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