Revista Española de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1135-5727
BALLESTER DIEZ, Ferran et al. The EMECAM project: spanish multicenter study on the relationship between air pollution and the death rate. Background data, participants, objectives and methods. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 1999, vol.73, n.2, pp. 165-175. ISSN 1135-5727. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1135-57271999000200006.
In recent years, a growing number of studies suggests that increases in pollution levels may have short-term impact on human health, even at pollution levels similar to or lower than those which have been considered to be safe to date. The different methodological approaches and the varying analysis techniques employed have made it difficult to make a direct comparison among all of the findings, preventing any clear conclusions from being drawn. This has led to multicenter projects such as the APHEA (Short-Term Impact of Air Pollution on Health. A European Approach) within a European Scope. The EMECAM Project falls within the context of the aforesaid multicenter studies and has a wide-ranging projection nationwide within Spain. Fourteen (14) cities throughout Spain were included in this Project (Barcelona, Metropolitan Area of Bilbao, Cartagena, Castellón, Gijón, Huelva, Madrid, Pamplona, Seville, Oviedo, Valencia, Vigo, Vitoria and Saragossa) representing different sociodemographic, climate and environmental situations, adding up to a total of nearly nine million inhabitants. The objective of the EMECAM project is that to asses the short-term impact of air pollution throughout all of the participating cities on the mortality for all causes, on the population and on individuals over age 70, for respiratory and cardiovascular causes. For this purpose, with an ecological design, the time series data is analyzed taking the deaths rate, pollutants, temperature data and other factors taken from records kept by public institutions as a unit. The period of time throughout which this study was conducted, although not exactly the same for all of the cities involved, runs in all cases from 1990 to 1996. The degree of relationship measured by means of an autoregressive Poisson regression. In the future, the results of each city will be combined by means of a meta-analysis.
Keywords : Air pollution; Mortality; Multicenter study; Time series.