Few European studies investigating associations between short-term exposure to air pollution and incident stroke have considered stroke subtypes. Using information from the South London Stroke Register for 2005–2012, we investigated associations between daily concentrations of gaseous and particulate air pollutants and incident stroke subtypes in an ethnically diverse area of London, UK.Methods
Modelled daily pollutant concentrations based on a combination of measurements and dispersion modelling were linked at postcode level to incident stroke events stratified by haemorrhagic and ischaemic subtypes. The data were analysed using a time-stratified case–cross-over approach. Conditional logistic regression models included natural cubic splines for daily mean temperature and daily mean relative humidity, a binary term for public holidays and a sine–cosine annual cycle. Of primary interest were same day mean concentrations of particulate matter <2.5 and <10 µm in diameter (PM2.5, PM10), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and NO2+nitrogen oxide (NOX).Results
Our analysis was based on 1758 incident strokes (1311 were ischaemic and 256 were haemorrhagic). We found no evidence of an association between all stroke or ischaemic stroke and same day exposure to PM2.5, PM10, O3, NO2 or NOX. For haemorrhagic stroke, we found a negative association with PM10 suggestive of a 14.6% (95% CI 0.7% to 26.5%) fall in risk per 10 µg/m3 increase in pollutant.Conclusions
Using data from the South London Stroke Register, we found no evidence of a positive association between outdoor air pollution and incident stroke or its subtypes. These results, though in contrast to recent meta-analyses, are not inconsistent with the mixed findings of other UK studies.