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Short-term particulate matter exposure exerts deleterious effects on CV system

31 Oct 2019

Exposure to high concentrations of ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) even in the short term may be detrimental to the cardiovascular (CV) system, leading to significant elevations in central aortic blood pressure (BP), according to a recent study.

Researchers looked at participants from the Shougang Atherosclerosis Cohort, a community-based programme in Beijing. They obtained daily ambient PM2.5 concentration data from the nearest ambient air quality monitoring station to the communities. Radial artery tonometry facilitated noninvasive measurement of central aortic systolic BP (cSBP).

The analysis included a total of 4,715 visits, involving 2,151 individuals at the baseline visit in 2011–2012 and 2,564 at the follow-up visit in 2014. Mean age was 56.79 years, mean body mass index was 25.61 kg/m2, and 35 percent of the population were male. Twenty-seven percent of individuals had hypertension, 18 percent had diabetes mellitus, 7 percent had CV disease, and 72 percent had dyslipidaemia.

PM2.5 exerted a stronger effect on cSBP on the day of measurement (lag 0 day), with an interquartile range increase (80.25 μg/m3) in daily PM2.5 correlating with a 2.54-mm Hg (95 percent CI, 0.92–4.16) rise in cSBP. Age, sex, body mass index, medications and comorbid diseases did not modify the association between PM2.5 and cSBP, except for CV disease.

The findings underscore that exposure to PM2.5 has potential adverse impact on the CV system, supporting efforts to improve air quality globally to reduce CV risk, the researchers said.

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Pearl Toh, 31 Dec 2019
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