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Nov 2010

Interaction between air pollution and respiratory viruses: time-series study of daily mortality and hospital admissions in Hong Kong

Populations in Asia are not only at risk of harm to their health through environmental degradation as a result of worsening pollution problems but also constantly threatened by recurring and emerging influenza epidemics and pandemics. We assessed the health effects of air pollution and influenza. The excess risk estimates for the short-term effects of air pollution on mortality and hospitalization for broad categories of disease were greater in those ≥65 years than in the all-ages group. The biggest health impacts were seen at the extremes of the age range. In Hong Kong, where air pollution may pose more of a health threat than in North American and European cities, the effects of air pollution also interact with influenza and with residence in socially deprived areas, potentially leading to additional harm. Asian governments should be aware of the combined risks to the health of the population when considering environmental protection and management in the context of economic, urban, and infrastructure development.

Sep 2008

The effects of air pollution on mortality in socially deprived urban areas in Hong Kong, China

Poverty is a major determinant of population health, but little is known about its role in modifying air pollution effects. We examined whether people residing in socially deprived communities are at higher mortality risk from air pollution. This study included 209 tertiary planning units (TPU), the smallest units for town planning in Hong Kong. The socioeconomic status of each TPU was measured by a social deprivation index (SDI) derived from the proportions of unemployed population, monthly household income<US$250, no schooling, one-person household, never-married status, and subtenancy, from the 2001 Population Census. TPU were classified into three levels of SDI: low, middle, and high. Time-series analysis with Poisson regression was used to examine the association between changes in air pollution level and number of deaths in each SDI group in 1996-2002. NO2, SO2, PM10 and O3 were assoicated with all natural causes and cardiovascular mortality in middle or high SDI areas. All natural causes and cardiorespiratory mortality in high SDI areas were more strongly associated with SO2 and NO2 compared with those in middle or low SDI areas. We concluded that neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation increases mortality risks associated with air pollution.

Jun 2008

Air pollution: costs and paths to a solution in Hong Kong - understanding the connections among visibility, air pollution, and health costs in pursuit of accountability, environmental justice, and health protection

Air quality has deteriorated in Hong Kong over more than 15 years. As part of a program of public accountability, photographs on Poor and Better visibility days were used as representations of the relationships among visibility, air pollution, adverse health effects, and community costs for health care and lost productivity. Coefficients from time-series models and gazetted costs were used to estimate the health and economic impacts of different levels of pollution. In this population of 6.9 million, air quality improvement from the annual average to the lowest pollutant levels of Better visibility days, comparable to the WHO-AQG, would avoid 1335 deaths, 60,587 hospital bed days, and 6.7 million doctor visits for respiratory complaints each year. Direct costs and productivity losses avoided would be over US$240 million a year. The dissemination of these findings led to increased demands for pollution controls from the public and legislators, but denials of the need for urgent action arose from the government. The outcome demonstrates the need for more effective translation of the scientific evidence base into risk communication and public policy.

News

14 Jul 2017 Hong Kong Economic Times

空氣污染 上半年936人提早亡 (Chinese Only)

Hong Kong News

14 Jul 2017 Apple Daily

環團:深水埗最多空氣污染物 (Chinese Only)

Hong Kong News

14 Jul 2017 Oriental Daily News

深水埗葵涌空氣污染最嚴重 (Chinese Only)

Hong Kong News

14 Jul 2017 Hong Kong Economic Journal

空氣污染趨升 深水埗葵涌嚴重 (Chinese Only)

Hong Kong News

23 Jun 2017 Ming Pao Daily News

林鄭新班子點connect路邊空氣污染?(Chinese Only)

Hong Kong News

05 Apr 2017 Hong Kong Economic Journal

新界北交通擠塞與健康風險 (Chinese Only)

Hong Kong News

17 Mar 2017 Hong Kong Economic Journal

收緊汽車排放標準 保障市民健康 (Chinese Only)

Hong Kong News

31 Jan 2017 Ming Pao Daily News

中國人活在污染中 學者:身體已適應 (Chinese Only)

Hong Kong News