While many time-series studies of ozone and daily mortality identified positive associations,others yielded null or inconclusive results. We performed a meta-analysis of 144 effect estimates from 39 time-series studies, and estimated pooled effects by lags, age groups,cause-specific mortality, and concentration metrics. We compared results to estimates from the National Morbidity, Mortality, and Air Pollution Study (NMMAPS), a time-series study of 95 large U.S. cities from 1987 to 2000. Both meta-analysis and NMMAPS results provided strong evidence of a short-term association between ozone and mortality, with larger effects for cardiovascular and respiratory mortality, the elderly, and current day ozone exposure as compared to other single day lags. In both analyses, results were not sensitive to adjustment for particulate matter and model specifications. In the meta-analysis we found that a 10 ppb increase in daily ozone is associated with a 0.83 (95% confidence interval: 0.53, 1.12%) increase in total mortality, whereas the corresponding NMMAPS estimate is 0.25%(0.12, 0.39%). Meta-analysis results were consistently larger than those from NMMAPS,indicating publication bias. Additional publication bias is evident regarding the choice of lags in time-series studies, and the larger heterogeneity in posterior city-specific estimates in the meta-analysis, as compared with NMAMPS.


Health Services Research