Stroke and fine particulate matter (PM) are two important public health concerns worldwide. Although numerous studies have reported the associations between PM and stroke, scientific evidence in China is incomplete, particularly the effect of PM on the acute incidence and national acute health burdens of stroke attributed to PM pollution. This study identified about 131,947 registered patients and 23,018 deaths due to stroke in 10 counties located in various regions from 2013 to 2017. Using a time-stratified case-crossover design, this study evaluated the associations between short-term exposure to PM and the risks of acute incidence and mortality for different types of stroke on the same spatiotemporal scale. With a 10 μg/m increase in the PM concentration, the acute incidence risk increased by 0.37% (0.15%, 0.60%) for stroke, 0.46% (0.21%, 0.72%) for ischemic stroke, and -0.13% (-0.73%, 0.48%) for hemorrhagic stroke. The corresponding values for the mortality risk were 0.71% (0.08%, 1.33%), 1.09% (0.05%, 2.14%), and 0.43% (-0.44%, 1.31%) for stroke, ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke, respectively. Compared with the other groups, females and patients aged over 64 years presented higher incidence and mortality risks, while the group aged >75 years may exhibit a greater risk of mortality. Based on the estimated effects, we evaluated 43,300 excess deaths and 48,800 acute incidences attributed to short-term PM exposure across China in 2015. This study provided robust estimates of PM-induced stroke incidence and mortality risks, and susceptible populations were identified. Excess mortality and morbidity attributed to short-term PM exposure indicate the necessity to implement health care and prevention strategies, as well as medical resource allocation for noncommunicable diseases in regions with high levels of air pollution.
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