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Impact of personally measured pollutants on cardiac function


Belcredi,  Petra
Dept. Clinical Research, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Hampel, R., Rueckerl, R., Yli-Tuomi, T., Breitner, S., Lanki, T., Kraus, U., et al. (2014). Impact of personally measured pollutants on cardiac function. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HYGIENE AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, 217(4-5), 460-464. doi:10.1016/j.ijheh.2013.09.002.

Epidemiological studies have shown associations between ambient air pollution and changes in heart rate variability (HRV). However, studies using personal air pollution measurements, especially with exposure averages <24 h, are still rare. Between February and March 2008 HRV data as well as personal exposure to particulate matter <2.5 mu m (PM25), and particle number concentrations (PNC) were collected in five volunteers for up to 8.3 h on a 5 min resolution. Information about the participant's whereabouts was also collected. Mixed models were used to analyze concurrent and up to 30 min delayed effects of air pollutants as well as being in traffic on 5 min-averages of heart rate (HR), high and low frequency power (HF and LF), standard deviation of all normal-to-normal intervals (SDNN), and the root mean square of successive interval differences (RMSSD). Results are presented as %-change from the mean per increase in interquartile range of air pollutant. In total, 474 5-min segments were available for analysis. We observed concurrent and delayed reductions in SDNN of about 0.8-1.0% in association with a 5.4 mu g/m3 increase in PM25. However, being in traffic by car led to an increase of about 20% 10-14 min and 15-19 min later. An increase in PM25 or PNC was associated with lagged decreases for RMSSD and HF. We detected concurrent reductions in RMSSD (-17.6% [95%-confidence interval: 29.1; -4.3]) when being in traffic by bike/foot. Being in traffic by car was associated with an immediate reduction in LF while more delayed increases in LF were observed when being in traffic by bike/foot. Air pollution and traffic effects on HR were less consistent. These rapid changes in HRV within 30 min might be mediated by the autonomic nervous system in response to direct reflexes from receptors in the lungs. (C) 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.