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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2013, Article ID 760259, 12 pages
Research Article

Population Dynamics and Air Pollution: The Impact of Demographics on Health Impact Assessment of Air Pollution

1National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 Copenhagen, Denmark
2CAST, University of Southern Denmark, J.B. Winsløws Vej 9 B, 5000 Odense C, Denmark
3Institue of Public Health, Aarhus University, Bartholins Allé 2, Bygning 1260, Lokale 331, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
4Institute of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, P.O. Box 2099, 1014 Copenhagen, Denmark

Received 28 December 2012; Revised 12 April 2013; Accepted 17 April 2013

Academic Editor: David Strogatz

Copyright © 2013 Esben Meulengracht Flachs et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To explore how three different assumptions on demographics affect the health impact of Danish emitted air pollution in Denmark from 2005 to 2030, with health impact modeled from 2005 to 2050. Methods. Modeled air pollution from Danish sources was used as exposure in a newly developed health impact assessment model, which models four major diseases and mortality causes in addition to all-cause mortality. The modeling was at the municipal level, which divides the approximately 5.5 M residents in Denmark into 99 municipalities. Three sets of demographic assumptions were used: (1) a static year 2005 population, (2) morbidity and mortality fixed at the year 2005 level, or (3) an expected development. Results. The health impact of air pollution was estimated at 672,000, 290,000, and 280,000 lost life years depending on demographic assumptions and the corresponding social costs at 430.4 M€, 317.5 M€, and 261.6 M€ through the modeled years 2005–2050. Conclusion. The modeled health impact of air pollution differed widely with the demographic assumptions, and thus demographics and assumptions on demographics played a key role in making health impact assessments on air pollution.