A study conducted in one of the largest and heavily industrialised city, Shenyang, showed that an increase of 10ug/m3 of PM10 corresponded to 55% and 49% increase in the risk of deaths due to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, respectively. Furthermore, a study conducted in Santiago, Chile (with a high level of air pollution) has shown that short term increase in hospital admissions for venous thrombosis and pulmonary events was proportional to the increased concentration of particulate matter (PM)[1].

As the air quality decreases, the risk of developing diseases such as stroke, lung diseases, chronic and acute respiratory diseases (asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)) increases. A time-series analysis conducted in Hong Kong and Taipei from 2000 to 2005 found that that the levels of sulphur dioxide, ozone and nitrogen dioxide were associated with increased hospital admissions for respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and asthma. Furthermore, there is increased evidence that highlights the association between sustained exposure of air pollutants and hypertension, coronary heart disease and stroke [1].

The prevalence of Asthma in EU5 countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK) is around 21.3 million in 2019, and for GOLD stage 3-4 COPD the prevalence is around 2.7 million. The prevalence of these conditions and the risk factors they encompass are forecast to increase with the rising levels of air pollution. This could lead to a higher burden of disease, putting a further strain on the healthcare systems in urban areas [2].

With increasing occurrences of diseases, it is important to use an evidence-based source of patient populations. It is key to see beyond basic prevalence and segment patient populations according to clinical parameters, co-morbid conditions, bio-markers and more for a greater level of depth and a more accurate forecast.

Black Swan’s Epidemiological Database uses the methodology that utilises analyst expertise, thorough search algorithms, strict source of evaluation as well as internal and external validation resulting in strong analysis of the epidemiology. Get in touch with our team to find out more on this constantly evolving repository for over 200 diseases across at least 27 major markets.

Alternatively you can download our free whitepaper on How to evaluate good EPI data.


  1. Mannucci PM et al (2017). Health Effects of Ambient Air Pollution in Developing Countries. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
  2. Epiomic Database (2019). Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in EU5. https://www.epiomic.com/epidemiology-databases/epiomic-segmentation