Uncertainties, limitations and biases may impede the correct application of concentration-response linear functions to estimate the effects of air pollution exposure on population health. The reliability of a prediction depends largely on the strength of the linear correlation between the studied variables. This work proposes the joint use of the coefficient of determination, r2, with the regression slope, b, as an improved measure of the strength of the linear relation between air pollution and its effects on population health. The proposed br2‑weighting method offers more reliable inferences about the potential effects of air pollution on population health, and can be applied universally to other fields of research.