Effect of ambient air pollution on tuberculosis risks and mortality in Shandong, China: a multi-city modeling study of the short- and long-term effects of pollutants

Yao Liu, Shi Zhao, Yifan Li, Wanmei Song, Cuixiang Yu, Lei Gao, Jinjun Ran, Daihai He, Huaichen Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Few studies conducted in China have assessed the effects of ambient air pollution exposure on tuberculosis (TB) risk and mortality, especially with a multicity setting. We evaluated the effect of short- and long-term ambient sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), and particulate matter≤2.5 μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) exposures on development and mortality of active TB in 7 Chinese cities in Shandong province from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2017. We estimated the pollution-associated risk to new infection TB, recurrent TB, and mortality in relation to 1-μg/m3 increases in air pollutants using the penalized multivariate Poisson regression models. A total of 83,555 new infective TB and 3060 recurrent TB including 997 deaths were recorded. Short- and long-term exposures to outdoor air pollutants (SO2, NO2, CO, O3, and PM2.5) were significantly associated with new infection TB, recurrent TB risk, and mortality. The dominant positive effects of SO2, NO2, CO, and PM2.5 for new infection and recurrent TB risk were observed at long-term (>30 days) exposure, whereas the dominant effects of SO2, CO, and PM2.5 for mortality were observed at short-term (≤30 days) exposures. Of the 5 air pollutants we assessed, SO2 and PM2.5 exhibited more consistent and strong associations with TB-related outcomes. We estimated an increase of 1.33% (95% CI 1.29%, 1.37%) and 3.04% (95% CI 2.98%, 3.11%) in new infection TB count for each 1-μg/m3 increase of SO2 at lag 0–180 days and PM2.5 at lag 0–365 days, respectively. This epidemiologic study in China shows that air pollution exposure is associated with increased risk of active TB development and mortality. The control of ambient air pollution may benefit the control and decrease the mortality of TB disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27757-27768
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Air pollution
  • China
  • Mortality
  • Multi-city
  • Panelized regression
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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