Speaker: Disease from air pollution is a global burden

Dr. Michael Brauer, a professor in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, will visit Colorado State University this week to speak on “The Global Burden of Disease from Air Pollution.”

michael brauer

He will deliver his talk at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26, in Clark A203. The event will be preceded by a reception for Brauer from 3 to 4 p.m. in Johnson Hall, Room 108.

Brauer directs the Bridge Program at UBC – a strategic training program linking public health, engineering and policy. His research focuses on the assessment of exposure and health impacts of air pollution, with an emphasis on transportation-related and biomass air pollution. He has participated in monitoring and epidemiological studies throughout the world and served on advisory committees to the World Health Organization, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of Canada, the International Joint Commission and governments in North America and Asia. He is an associate editor of Environmental Health Perspectives and a member of the Core Analytic Team for the Global Burden of Disease.

The Global Burden of Disease

The 2013 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, which Brauer co-authored, is a collaborative effort led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and involving a large network of international experts. In 2010 GBD estimated that exposure to ambient PM2.5, which are air particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter that are believed to pose the greatest health risk, contributed to 3.2 million deaths and 74 million disability-adjusted life years (DALY). DALY is a measure of overall disease burden; it is the number of years lost due to illness, disability or early death. In this case, researchers looked at how many DALYs were lost worldwide in 2010 to ischemic heart disease, stroke, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and lung cancer in adults and acute lower respiratory infections in children less than five years old. Household air pollution from the domestic use of solid fuels for cooking and heating contributed 3.5 million deaths and 108 million DALYs. The most recent update, GBD 2013, expands upon the methodology, datasets, and tools used in GBD 2010. It will produce estimates of deaths and DALYs attributable to PM2.5 and ozone in ambient air and to exposure to household air pollution from the use of solid fuels from 1990 to 2013 for 187 countries in 21 global regions, as well as sub-country analyses for China, Mexico and the UK.

In his presentation Brauer will describe the methodology used to estimate the burden of disease attributable to air pollution, present the latest results, and discuss implications for air pollution health effects research and global health. For more information visit this website.