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Spatial and Temporal Trends of Short-Term Health Impacts of PM2.5 in Iranian Cities; a Modelling Approach (2013-2016)

Category: Air Pollution and Health Effects

Accepted Manuscripts
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.09.0325
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Philip K. Hopke1, Seyed Saeed Hashemi Nazari2, Mostafa Hadei3, Maryam Yarahmadi4, Majid Kermani3, Elham Yarahmadi5, Abbas Shahsavani 6,7

  • 1 Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, USA
  • 2 Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Research Center, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • 3 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • 4 Environmental and Occupational Health Center, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran
  • 5 Department of climatology, University of Lorestan, Khorramabad, Iran
  • 6 Environmental and Occupational Hazards Control Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • 7 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


The areas with occurrence of Middle Eastern dust storm had high PM2.5.
The highest number of deaths was estimated to be in Tehran.
Highest rate of mortality was observed in western and southern cities.
The health impacts in all of the cities have decreased in the third year.


Estimation of the spatial and temporal trends of health impacts attributable to air pollution is an effective measure to evaluate implemented interventions. The aim of this study was to estimate the short-term mortality attributed to exposure to PM2.5 among individuals older than 30 years old in Iranian cities from March 2013 to March 2016 using the World Health Organization’s (WHO) AirQ+ software. Hourly concentrations of PM2.5 were acquired from Department of Environment, and Tehran Air Quality Control Company. Only stations with 75% and 50% of valid data were qualified for Tehran and other cities, respectively. The annual average of PM2.5 concentrations in all the ten cities were higher than the WHO guideline value of 10 µg m–3. Total attributable short-term deaths during the three-year period in these 10 cities were 3284 (95% CI: 1207–5244). The average daily premature deaths were calculated to be 3. The highest number of premature deaths within the three-year period was estimated to be 548 in Tehran, largely reflecting mostly its population of nearly 9 million. The western and southern cities of Iran have occurrences of severe dust storms and showed high estimated rate of death attributed to air pollution. The health impacts in all cities have decreased in the third year compared to the first year except for Ahvaz, Khoram Abad, and Ilam. Government interventions need to be enforced more effectively to reduce the high level of adverse health impacts in Iran. Special considerations should be given to the air quality of cities affected by dust storms.


Particulate matter AirQ+ Middle Eastern dust storm Health impact assessment Air pollution

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