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Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution is associated with coronary artery calcification among asymptomatic adults


Huynh, Q and Marwick, TH and Venkataraman, P and Knibbs, LD and Johnston, FH and Negishi, K, Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution is associated with coronary artery calcification among asymptomatic adults, European Heart Journal Cardiovascular Imaging pp. 1-8. ISSN 2047-2404 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright The Author(s) 2020

DOI: doi:10.1093/ehjci/jeaa073


Aims: We investigated the effects of exposure to very low levels of particulate matter <2.5 m (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on coronary calcium score (CCS) in asymptomatic adults who are free of coronary artery disease (CAD).

Methods and Results: This study included 606 asymptomatic adults (49% men, aged 567 years) recruited from communities in three states of Australia during 2017-2018. CCS was measured using coronary computed tomography scan at recruitment. Annual PM2.5 and NO2 concentrations were estimated on the year before recruitment using statistical exposure models and assigned to each participant's residential address. Medical history, physical measurements, biochemistry, and sociodemographic and socioeconomic status were also recorded. Median concentrations of PM2.5 and NO2 were 6.9 g/m3 [interquartile range (IQR) 6.0-7.7)] and 3.1 ppb [IQR 2.2-4.5], respectively. Of the 606 participants, 16% had high CCS (≥100) and 4% had very high CCS (≥400). Exposure to higher PM2.5 (per g/m3) was significantly associated with greater odds of having high CCS (OR 1.20, 95% CI 1.02-1.43) and very high CCS (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.05-2.29). Similar associations were observed for NO2 and high CCS (OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.02-1.27) and very high CCS (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.07-1.51). These findings were robust to adjustment for sociodemographic factors, traditional cardiovascular risk factors, renal function, education, and socio-economic status.

Conclusions: Ambient air pollution even at low concentration was associated with degree of coronary artery calcification among asymptomatic low cardiovascular risk adults, independent of other risk factors. These findings suggest that air pollution is one of the residual risk factors of CAD.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:PM2.5, air quality, atherosclerosis, coronary calcium score, particulate matter, traffic
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Cardiology (incl. cardiovascular diseases)
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Johnston, FH (Professor Fay Johnston)
UTAS Author:Negishi, K (Dr Kazuaki Negishi)
ID Code:138885
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2020-05-07
Last Modified:2022-08-25

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