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Short term exposure to air pollution and stroke: systematic review and meta-analysis

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1295 (Published 24 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1295

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Re: Short term exposure to air pollution and stroke: systematic review and meta-analysis

Shah et al. (1) report that short term exposure to air pollution leads to strokes, "Gaseous and particulate air pollutants have a marked and close temporal association with admissions to hospital for stroke or mortality from stroke." In the BMJ journal Heart, Milojevic et al. (2) report there is no effect of air pollution on strokes, "This study found no clear evidence for pollution effects on STEMIs and stroke, which ultimately represent thrombogenic processes, ..." Each quote is taken from the paper abstract. The claims are as different as can be. At this point I'm not choosing sides, but one would think that good data and good methods should come to about the same place. Might the two sets of authors share their thoughts? Might both place their data into a public repository so that others could join in trying to figure things out?

Stan Young

References
1. Shah ASV, Lee KK, McAllister DA, Hunter A, Nair H, Whiteley W, Langrish JP, Newby DE, Nicholas NL. (2015) Short term exposure to air pollution and stroke: systematic
review and meta-analysis. BMJ 350:h1295. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/BMJ.h1295)

2. Milojevic A, Wilkinson P, Armstrong B, Bhaskaran K, Smeeth L, Hajat S (2014) Short-term effects of air pollution on a range of cardiovascular events in England and Wales: case-crossover analysis of the MINAP database, hospital admissions and mortality. Heart 100, 1093-1098.

Competing interests: No competing interests

13 April 2015
S. Stanley Young
Statistician
Retired
3401 Caldwell Drive, Raleigh, NC