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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


BALLESTER, Ferrán  and  GRUPO EMECAS et al. The EMECAS Project: Spanish Multicentre Study on Short-Term Health Effects of Air Pollution. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2005, vol.79, n.2, pp.229-242. ISSN 2173-9110.

The EMECAM Project demonstrated the short-term effect of air pollution on the death rate in 14 cities in Spain throughout the 1990-1995 period. The Spanish Multicentre Study on Health Effects of Air Pollution (EMECAS) is broadening these objectives by incorporating more recent data, information on hospital disease admissions and totaling 16 Spanish cities. This is an ecological time series study in which the response variables are the daily deaths and the emergency hospitalizations due to circulatory system diseases and respiratory diseases among the residents in each city. Pollutants analyses: suspended particles, SO2, NO2, CO and O3. Control variables: meteorological, calendar, seasonality and influenza trend and incidence. Statistical analysis: estimate of the association in each city by means of the construction of generalized additive Poisson regression models and metanalysis for obtaining combined estimators. The EMECAS Project began with the creation of three working groups (Exposure, Epidemiology and Analysis Methodology) which defined the protocol. The average levels of pollutants were below those established under the current regulations for sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and ozone. The NO2 and PM10 values were around those established under the regulations (40 mg/m3). This is the first study of the relationship between air pollution and disease rate among one group of Spanish cities. The pollution levels studied are moderate for some pollutants, although for others, especially NO2 and particles, these levels could entail a problem with regard to complying with the regulations in force.

Keywords : Air pollution; Hospital admissions; Mortality; Cardiovascular diseases; Respiratory diseases; Time series.

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