Objectives Traffic and ambient air pollution exposure are positively associated with cardiovascular disease, potentially through atherosclerosis promotion. Few studies have assessed associations of these exposures with thoracic aortic calcium Agatston score (TAC) or abdominal aortic calcium Agatston score (AAC), systemic atherosclerosis correlates. We assessed whether living close to a major road and residential fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure were associated with TAC and AAC in a Northeastern US cohort.
Design Cohort study.
Setting Framingham Offspring and Third Generation participants residing in the Northeastern USA.
Participants and outcome measures Among 3506 participants, mean age was 55.8 years; 50% female. TAC was measured from 2002 to 2005 and AAC up to two times (2002–2005; 2008–2011) among participants from the Framingham Offspring or Third Generation cohorts. We first assessed associations with detectable TAC (logistic regression) and AAC (generalised estimating equation regression, logit link). As aortic calcium scores were right skewed, we used linear regression models and mixed-effects models to assess associations with natural log-transformed TAC and AAC, respectively, among participants with detectable aortic calcium. We also assessed associations with AAC progression. Models were adjusted for demographic variables, socioeconomic position indicators and time.
Results There were no consistent associations of major roadway proximity or PM2.5 with the presence or extent of TAC or AAC, or with AAC progression. Some estimates were in the opposite direction than expected.
Conclusions In this cohort from a region with relatively low levels of and variation in PM2.5, there were no strong associations of proximity to a major road or PM2.5 with the presence or extent of aortic calcification, or with AAC progression.
- PUBLIC HEALTH
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Contributors All authors have contributed to the conception or design of the study and acquisition of the data. KSD analysed the data and EHW and WL reviewed the analysis. KSD wrote the first draft of the manuscript and all authors critically revised the manuscript. All authors have approved the manuscript.
Funding This work was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (grant number T32HL007575) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (grant numbers R00 ES022243, F32ES023352) of the National Institutes of Health. This publication was made possible by US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) grant number RD-83479801. From the Framingham Heart Study of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health and Boston University School of Medicine; this work was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study (contract numbers N01-HC-25195 and HHSN268201500001I).
Disclaimer The contents of this study are solely the responsibility of the grantee and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USEPA. Further, USEPA does not endorse the purchase of any commercial products or services mentioned in the publication. The views expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; the National Institutes of Health or the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Competing interests KSD reports grants from National Institutes of Health during the conduct of this study and outside the submitted work. EHW reports grants from National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, during the conduct of the study; and non-financial support from Servier Labs, outside the submitted work. JS reports grants from USEPA, during the conduct of the study; and serving as Expert Consultant for The US Department of Justice in a lawsuit against Volkswagen for violating emissions limits, Expert Consultant for Natural Resources Defense Fund in a lawsuit against coal-burning power plant for violating emissions limits. BAC reports grants from National Institutes of Health, grants from USEPA, outside the submitted work. UH reports grants from National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-Framingham Heart Study, during the conduct of the study; grants from Kowa Company, grants from American College of Radiology Imaging Network, personal fees from the American Heart Association, outside the submitted work. MAM reports grants from USEPA, grants from National Institutes of Health, during the conduct of the study; grants from USEPA, grants from National Institutes of Health, outside the submitted work.
Ethics approval Institutional Review Boards of Boston University Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement No additional data are available.
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