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The impact of environmental pollution (such as air pollution) on health costs has received a great deal of global attention in the last 20 years. This review aims to summarize the theoretical analysis model of air pollution affecting health costs, and further explore the actual characteristics of the impact of air pollution on health costs. The following main databases were taken into account: Web of Science Core Collection, Medline, SCOPUS, PubMed, and CNKI (China). As of 30 March 2021, we retrieved a total of 445 papers and ended up with 52 articles. This review mainly expounds clarification of the concept of air pollution and health costs, the theoretical model and the actual characteristics of air pollution affecting health costs. In addition, it also discusses other related factors affecting health costs. Our conclusion is that, while academic research on the relationship between air pollution and health costs has made some progress, there are still some shortcomings, such as insufficient consideration of individual avoidance behavior and rural-urban and international mobility. Therefore, the simple use of the original data obtained in the statistical yearbook of the health cost caused by air pollution is also the reason for the errors in the empirical results. In addition, the choice of proxy variables of environmental pollution by scholars is relatively simple, mainly focusing on air pollutants, while the impact of water quality or soil pollution safety on health costs is becoming increasingly prominent, and will become the focus of future research.


Xiaocang Xu, Haoran Yang, Chang Li. Theoretical Model and Actual Characteristics of Air Pollution Affecting Health Cost: A Review. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2022 Mar 16;19(6)

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PMID: 35329214

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