A study has found a link between long-term exposure to air pollution and risk of death in urban areas of New Zealand, a country with relatively low levels of air pollution.

The study also found some evidence that Maori (indigenous peoples of New Zealand) may have greater susceptibility to life-shortening effects of air pollution, likely due to a higher prevalence of pre-existing cardiorespiratory disease among the Maori population.

1. Hales S, Blakely T, Woodward A. Air pollution and mortality in New Zealand: cohort study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, published online 21 Oct 2010. (open access)