Mortality and life expectancy of Yokkaichi Asthma patients, Japan: Late effects of air pollution in 1960–70s
Death certificates issued in Yokkaichi, Japan, during the 21 yr from 1963 until 1983 were surveyed to determine the relationship between changes in air pollution and mortality due to bronchial asthma and chronic bronchitis. The following results were obtained. In response to worsening air pollution, mortality for bronchial asthma and chronic bronchitis began to increase. Mortality due to bronchial asthma decreased immediately in response to improvement of pollution, whereas mortality due to chronic bronchitis decreased to the level in the control area 4 to 5 yr after the concentration of sulfur dioxide (SO2) began to satisfy the ambient air quality standard. In the polluted area, mortality due to bronchial asthma in subjects who were 20 yr of age was higher during the period in which higher concentrations of sulfur oxides were prevalent.