Objective To evaluate the economic and humanistic burden associated with cardiovascular diseases that were attributable to fine particulate matter (≤ 2.5 μg/m3 in aerodynamic diameter; PM2.5) in Beijing.
Methods This study used a health economic modelling approach to compare the actual annual average PM2.5 concentration with the PM2.5 concentration limit (35 µg/m3) as defined by the Chinese Ambient Air Quality Standard in terms of cardiovascular disease outcomes in Beijing adult population. The outcomes included medical costs, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and net monetary loss (NML). Beijing annual average PM2.5 concentration was around 105 µg/m3 during 2013–2015. Therefore, we estimated the differences in cardiovascular outcomes of Beijing adults between exposure to the PM2.5 concentration of 105 µg/m3 and exposure to the concentration of 35 µg/m3. According to WHO estimates, the hazard ratios of coronary heart disease and stroke associated with the increase of PM2.5 concentration from 35 to 105 µg/m3 were 1.15 and 1.29, respectively.
Results The total 1-year excess medical costs of cardiovascular diseases associated with PM2.5 pollution in Beijing was US$147.9 million and the total 1-year QALY loss was 92 574 in 2015, amounting to an NML of US$2281.8 million. The expected lifetime incremental costs for a male Beijing adult and a female Beijing adult were US$237 and US$163, the corresponding QALY loss was 0.14 and 0.12, and the corresponding NML was US$3514 and US$2935.
Conclusions PM2.5-related cardiovascular diseases imposed high economic and QALY burden on Beijing society. Continuous and intensive investment on reducing PM2.5 concentration is warranted even when only cardiovascular benefits are considered.
- health economics
- cardiovascular disease
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Handling editor Lei Si
Contributors Conceptualisation, design, data collection, analysis, programming and writing: YJ; analysis and manuscript revision: SJ; data collection, analysis and manuscript revision: WN.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement The data analysed during the study are presented in the article and its online supplemental materials. The program and code that were used in the present study have been provided for editorial and peer review and are available from the corresponding author on reasonable requests.
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