Ultrafine particulate matter (UFP, particles < 0.1 μm aerodynamic diameter) may be the most toxic size fraction of particulate matter. However, no longitudinal studies have examined the association between UFP exposure and either biomarkers of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk or cognitive function among adults. We used data from 812 adults who participated in the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study to assess whether UFP exposure was associated with changes in CVD risk factors and with changes in cognitive function over five years. Residential annual average UFP exposure (measured as particle number concentration or PNC) was assigned using a model accounting for spatial and temporal trends. We adjusted the PNC values for participants' inhalation rate to obtain the particle inhalation rate (PIR). Multilevel linear models with random intercepts for each participant were used to examine the association between UFP exposure and each outcome. We found that UFP concentrations were associated with increases in systolic blood pressure (95% CI for an inter-quartile increase in PNC = 0.3, 1.9 mmHg) and pulse pressure (95% CI = 0.3, 1.4 mmHg), as well as the percent change in C-reactive protein concentrations (95% CI = 1.8, 16.6%) and the cognitive decline rate (95% CI = -0.192, -0.003 points). Each IQR increase in the PIR was associated with diastolic blood pressure levels (95% CI = 0.4 - 1.7 mmHg) and cognitive function scores (95% CI = -0.014, 0.204 points). Effect modification was evident by sex, medication use, employment status, diabetes, smoking, family history of hypertension, depression, and physical activity level. Although future work is needed to validate these results in other populations and certain results found using PNC were inconsistent with results found using the PIR, we found evidence that exposure to UFP is associated with increased levels of CVD risk factors and reduced cognitive function.
|Commitee:||Brugge, Doug, Durant, John, Gute, David|
|School Location:||United States -- Massachusetts|
|Source:||MAI 54/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Environmental Health, Civil engineering, Epidemiology|
|Keywords:||Air pollution, Cardiovascular disease, Cognitive decline, Exposure assessment, Particulate matter, Puerto ricans|
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