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Environmental exposures and cardiovascular morbidity in Scotland: a study of the effects of air pollution on health

Bhaskar, Abita (2009) Environmental exposures and cardiovascular morbidity in Scotland: a study of the effects of air pollution on health. MSc(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Air pollution has been an ongoing problem around the world for centuries. It was brought to the public's attention in the mid 1900s with the London Smog which resulted in approximately 3000 excess deaths. Since then, there have been numerous studies carried out to determine the extent to which air pollution is related to human health. There are two main aims to this thesis, the first of which is to investigate the effects of PM10 exposure on cardiovascular illness in Scotland, focusing on the three largest cities, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. As this study makes use of readily available data, the second aim is to determine whether or not such data can be used to accurately estimate the effects of air pollution. Chapter 1 provides a detailed discussion of air pollution, focussing on the history of air pollution and the change in pollutants over time, and cardiovascular illnesses, giving a definition of cardiovascular disease, details of how they occur and giving incidence rates in Scotland. This chapter also gives an overview of the Information Services Division of the NHS (ISD), the Scottish Air Quality Website and the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC). Chapter 2 is a review of the relevant literature covering the standard modelling approach used in air pollution and health studies and will also outline the data used in these studies and the covariates involved. This chapter focuses exclusively on the short-term effects of air pollution as this is the focus of this thesis. Chapter 3 uses Poisson generalised linear models to explore the relationship between exposure to air pollution and cardiovascular admissions to hospital in Scotland, focusing specifically on Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Chapter 4 comprises a set of subanalyses of these data focusing on the effects of air pollution on various subclasses of cardiovascular morbidity in Glasgow. All analyses will be implemented using a generalised linear model, within the statistical programming language R (R 2.2.0 - A Language and Environment (2005)). Chapter 5 provides a summary of the results from the analyses. It also discusses the limitations associated with the use of routinely collected data and describes some of the dilemmas faced by researchers in this field.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: air pollution, cardiovascular illnesses
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Statistics
Supervisor's Name: Scott, Prof. Marian and Lee, Dr. Duncan
Date of Award: 2009
Depositing User: Miss Abita Bhaskar
Unique ID: glathesis:2009-595
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:20
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/595

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