Long-term Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution and Incidence of Brain Tumor: the European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects (ESCAPE)

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  • Gudrun Weinmayr
  • Massimo Stafoggia
  • Claudia Galassi
  • Jeanette T Jørgensen
  • Johan N Sommar
  • Bertil Forsberg
  • David Olsson
  • Bente Oftedal
  • Gunn Marit Aasvang
  • Per Schwarze
  • Andrei Pyko
  • Göran Pershagen
  • Michal Korek
  • Ulf De Faire
  • Claes-Göran Östenson
  • Laura Fratiglioni
  • Kirsten T Eriksen
  • Aslak H Poulsen
  • Elvira Vaclavik Bräuner
  • Petra H Peeters
  • Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita
  • Andrea Jaensch
  • Gabriele Nagel
  • Alois Lang
  • Meng Wang
  • Ming-Yi Tsai
  • Sara Grioni
  • Alessandro Marcon
  • Vittorio Krogh
  • Fulvio Ricceri
  • Carlotta Sacerdote
  • Enrica Migliore
  • Roel Vermeulen
  • Ranjeet Sokhi
  • Menno Keuken
  • Kees de Hoogh
  • Rob Beelen
  • Paolo Vineis
  • Giulia Cesaroni
  • Bert Brunekreef
  • Gerard Hoek
  • Ole Raaschou-Nielsen

Background: Epidemiological evidence on the association between ambient air pollution and brain tumor risk is sparse and inconsistent.

Methods: In 12 cohorts from six European countries, individual estimates of annual mean air pollution levels at the baseline residence were estimated by standardized land-use regression models developed within the ESCAPE and TRANSPHORM projects: particulate matter (PM) ≤ 2.5, ≤ 10, and 2.5-10 μm in diameter (PM2.5, PM10, and PMcoarse), PM2.5 absorbance, nitrogen oxides (NO2 and NOx) and elemental composition of PM. We estimated cohort-specific associations of air pollutant concentrations and traffic intensity with total, malignant and nonmalignant brain tumor, in separate Cox regression models, adjusting for risk factors, and pooled cohort-specific estimates using random-effects meta-analyses.

Results: Of 282,194 subjects from 12 cohorts, 466 developed malignant brain tumors during 12 years of follow-up. Six of the cohorts had also data on nonmalignant brain tumor, where among 106,786 subjects, 366 developed brain tumor: 176 nonmalignant and 190 malignant. We found a positive, statistically non-significant association between malignant brain tumor and PM2.5 absorbance (Hazard Ratio and 95% Confidence Interval: 1.67; 0.89-3.14 per 10 -5/m 3), and weak positive or null associations with the other pollutants. Hazard ratio for PM2.5 absorbance (1.01; 0.38-2.71 per 10 -5/m 3) and all other pollutants were lower for nonmalignant than for malignant brain tumors.

Conclusion: We found suggestive evidence of an association between long-term exposure to PM2.5 absorbance indicating traffic-related air pollution and malignant brain tumors, and no association with overall or nonmalignant brain tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)420–432
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

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