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This study examines the association of long-term exposure to gaseous air pollution with cardio-respiratory mortality in Brisbane, Australia, in the period 1996-2004. The pollutant concentrations were estimated using geographical information system (GIS) techniques at the statistical local area (SLA) level. The generalized estimating equations model was used to investigate the impact of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) on mortality due to cardio-respiratory disease after adjusting for a range of potential confounders. An increase of 4.7% (95% confidence interval = 0.7-8.9%) in cardio-respiratory mortality for 1 part per billion (ppb) increment in annual average concentration of SO2 was estimated. However, there was no significant association between long-term exposures to NO2 or O3 and death due to cardio-respiratory disease. The results indicate that the annual average concentration of SO2 is associated with cardio-respiratory mortality at the SLA level and this association appears to vary with the geographical area.
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