University of Oulu

Jouni J K Jaakkola, Simo-Pekka Kiihamäki, Simo Näyhä, Niilo R I Ryti, Timo T Hugg, Maritta S Jaakkola, Airborne pollen concentrations and daily mortality from respiratory and cardiovascular causes, European Journal of Public Health, Volume 31, Issue 4, August 2021, Pages 722–724,

Airborne pollen concentrations and daily mortality from respiratory and cardiovascular causes

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Author: Jaakkola, Jouni J. K.1,2,3,4; Kiihamäki, Simo-Pekka1; Näyhä, Simo1;
Organizations: 1Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Center Oulu, University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oxford University Press, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-12-09


We conducted a time-series analysis of the relations between daily levels of allergenic pollen and mortality in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area with 153 378 deaths; 9742 from respiratory and 57 402 from cardiovascular causes. Daily (average) pollen counts of alder, birch, mugwort and grass were measured. In quasi-Poisson regression analysis, abundant alder pollen increased the risk of non-accidental deaths with an adjusted cumulative mortality rate ratio (acMRR) of 1.10 (95% CI 1.01–1.19) and of deaths from respiratory-diseases with acMRR of 1.78 (95% CI 1.19–2.65). Abundant mugwort pollen increased cardiovascular mortality (1.41, 1.02–1.95). These findings identify an important global public health problem.

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Series: European journal of public health
ISSN: 1101-1262
ISSN-E: 1464-360X
ISSN-L: 1101-1262
Volume: 31
Issue: 4
Pages: 722 - 724
DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckab034
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: This study was supported by the Academy of Finland [grant numbers 266314 (APTA Consortium) and 310372 (GLORIA Consortium)] and The Research Foundation of the Pulmonary Diseases. The funders had no role in study design, data collection or analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 266314
Detailed Information: 266314 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
310372 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.