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The role of perceived air pollution and health risk perception in health symptoms and disease: a population-based study combined with modelled levels of PM10
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Institute of Social Studies, Tartu University, Tartu, Estonia..
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Estonian Health Board, Tallinn, Estonia..
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health, Tartu University, Tartu, Estonia..
2018 (English)In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Adverse health impact of air pollution on health may not only be associated with the level of exposure, but rather mediated by perception of the pollution and by top-down processing (e.g. beliefs of the exposure being hazardous), especially in areas with relatively low levels of pollutants. The aim of this study was to test a model that describes interrelations between air pollution (particles < 10 &#x03BC;" role="presentation" style="box-sizing: border-box; display: inline-table; line-height: normal; letter-spacing: normal; word-spacing: normal; word-wrap: normal; white-space: nowrap; float: none; direction: ltr; max-width: none; max-height: none; min-width: 0px; min-height: 0px; border: 0px; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; position: relative;">μμm, PM10), perceived pollution, health risk perception, health symptoms and diseases.

Methods: A population-based questionnaire study was conducted among 1000 Estonian residents (sample was stratified by age, sex, and geographical location) about health risk perception and coping. The PM10 levels were modelled in 1 × 1 km grids using a Eulerian air quality dispersion model. Respondents were ascribed their annual mean PM10 exposure according to their home address. Path analysis was performed to test the validity of the model.

Results: The data refute the model proposing that exposure level significantly influences symptoms and disease. Instead, the perceived exposure influences symptoms and the effect of perceived exposure on disease is mediated by health risk perception. This relationship is more pronounced in large cities compared to smaller towns or rural areas.

Conclusions: Perceived pollution and health risk perception, in particular in large cities, play important roles in understanding and predicting environmentally induced symptoms and diseases at relatively low levels of air pollution.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Air pollution modelling, Epidemiology, Path analysis, Perceived pollution, Questionnaire survey
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-147953DOI: 10.1007/s00420-018-1303-xPubMedID: 29602966OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-147953DiVA, id: diva2:1209441
Available from: 2018-05-23 Created: 2018-05-23 Last updated: 2018-06-09

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Orru, KatiNordin, StevenOrru, Hans

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