Hazed and Confused: The Effect of Air Pollution on Dementia

46 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2018 Last revised: 24 Sep 2022

See all articles by Kelly C. Bishop

Kelly C. Bishop

Arizona State University

Jonathan Ketcham

Arizona State University (ASU) - Marketing Department

Nicolai Kuminoff

Arizona State University (ASU) - Economics Department

Date Written: August 2018

Abstract

We study whether long-term cumulative exposure to airborne small particulate matter (PM2.5) affects the probability that an individual receives a new diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. We track the health, residential location, and PM2.5 exposures of Americans aged 65 and above from 2001 through 2013. The expansion of Clean Air Act regulations led to quasi-random variation in individuals’ subsequent exposures to PM2.5. We leverage these regulations to construct instrumental variables for individual-level decadal PM2.5 that we use within flexible probit models that also account for any potential sample selection based on survival. We find that a 1 μg/m3 increase in decadal PM2.5 increases the probability of a new dementia diagnosis by an average of 2.15 percentage points. All else equal, we find larger effects for women, older people, and people with more clinical risk factors for dementia. These effects persist below current regulatory thresholds.

Suggested Citation

Bishop, Kelly C. and Ketcham, Jonathan D. and Kuminoff, Nicolai, Hazed and Confused: The Effect of Air Pollution on Dementia (August 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24970, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3244283

Kelly C. Bishop (Contact Author)

Arizona State University ( email )

Box 879801
Tempe, AZ 85287-3806
United States

Jonathan D. Ketcham

Arizona State University (ASU) - Marketing Department ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287-4106
United States
4809655507 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://wpcarey.asu.edu/directory/people/profile.cfm?person=2179827

Nicolai Kuminoff

Arizona State University (ASU) - Economics Department ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287-3806
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
40
Abstract Views
351
PlumX Metrics