Several studies have been published about the potential health effects due to long-term exposure to sulphur dioxide (SO) and the relative risks (RRs) for different causes of mortality. Broad differences in the RR values are found, however. In this study, we performed an analysis of these studies aiming finding potential explanations for the high variability of the RR reported. The RRs for stratified subgroups were also analysed to identify more susceptible subgroups. A total of 14 studies were identified. Some of them related strong associations between mortality and long-term ambient SO exposure, while others found insignificant or no associations to the same mortality indexes. The mean RR values ranged from 0.95 to 1.14 for mortality due to all causes, 0.99 to 3.05 for lung cancer, 0.87 to 1.3 for respiratory diseases, 0.96 to 1.14 cardiovascular diseases and 0.97 to 1.05 for cardiopulmonary diseases mortality. Among the factors that may affect the RR estimations, only the size of studied population and the spatial scales used in exposure assessment showed notable influences. The female population was found to be more susceptible to long-term SO exposure. For other stratified subgroups including age, smoking status and income levels, no obvious relationship with RR was observed.
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December 24, 2020
November 9, 2020
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