Background: Epidemiological evidence on the association between ambient air pollution and brain tumor risk is sparse and inconsistent.
Methods: In 12 cohorts from 6 European countries, individual estimates of annual mean air pollution levels at the baseline residence were estimated by standardized land-use regression models developed within the ESCAPE and TRANSPHORM projects: particulate matter (PM) ≤2.5, ≤10, and 2.5-10 μm in diameter (PM2.5, PM10, and PMcoarse), PM2.5 absorbance, nitrogen oxides (NO2 and NOx) and elemental composition of PM. We estimated cohort-specific associations of air pollutant concentrations and traffic intensity with total, malignant, and nonmalignant brain tumor, in separate Cox regression models, adjusting for risk factors, and pooled cohort-specific estimates using random-effects meta-analyses.
Results: Of 282194 subjects from 12 cohorts, 466 developed malignant brain tumors during 12 years of follow-up. Six of the cohorts also had data on nonmalignant brain tumor, where among 106786 subjects, 366 developed brain tumor: 176 nonmalignant and 190 malignant. We found a positive, statistically nonsignificant association between malignant brain tumor and PM2.5 absorbance (hazard ratio and 95% CI: 1.67; 0.89-3.14 per 10-5/m3), and weak positive or null associations with the other pollutants. Hazard ratio for PM2.5 absorbance (1.01; 0.38-2.71 per 10-5/m3) and all other pollutants were lower for nonmalignant than for malignant brain tumors.
Conclusion: We found suggestive evidence of an association between long-term exposure to PM2.5 absorbance indicating traffic-related air pollution and malignant brain tumors, and no association with overall or nonmalignant brain tumors.
- Air Pollution/adverse effects
- Brain Neoplasms/epidemiology
- Cohort Studies
- Environmental Exposure/adverse effects
- Follow-Up Studies
- Middle Aged
- Particulate Matter/adverse effects
- Risk Factors