A systematic review of air pollution and incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

Katherine Teng, Teresa Williams, Alexandra Bremner, Hideo Tohira, Peter Franklin, A. Tonkin, Ian Jacobs, Judith Finn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Studies have linked air pollution with the incidence of acute coronary artery events and cardiovascular mortality but the association with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is less clear.

Aim: To examine the association of air pollution with the occurrence of OHCA.

Methods: Electronic bibliographic databases (until February 2013) were searched. Search terms included common air pollutants and OHCA. Studies of patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators and OHCA not attended by paramedics were excluded. Two independent reviewers (THKT and TAW) identified potential studies. Methodological quality was assessed by the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.

Results: Of 849 studies, 8 met the selection criteria. Significant associations between particulate matter (PM) exposure (especially PM2.5) and OHCA were found in 5 studies. An increase of OHCA risk ranged from 2.4% to 7% per interquartile increase in average PM exposure on the same day and up to 4 days prior to the event. A large study found ozone increased the risk of OHCA within 3 h prior to the event. The strongest risk OR of 3.8–4.6% per 20 parts per billion ozone increase of the average level was within 2 h prior to the event. Similarly, another study found an increased risk of 18% within 2 days prior to the event.

Conclusions: Larger studies have suggested an increased risk of OHCA with air pollution exposure from PM2.5 and ozone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-43
JournalJournal of Epidemiology & Community Health
Issue number1
Early online date7 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

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