Long-term exposure to air pollution and road traffic noise and incidence of dementia in the Danish Nurse Cohort

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INTRODUCTION: We examined the association of long-term exposure to air pollution and road traffic noise with dementia incidence in the Danish Nurse Cohort.

METHODS: Female nurses were followed for dementia incidence (hospital contact or medication prescription) from 1993/1999 to 2020. Air pollution and road traffic noise levels were estimated at nurses' residences, and their associations with dementia were examined using Cox regression models.

RESULTS: Of 25,233 nurses 1409 developed dementia. Particulate matter with a diameter of ≤2.5 µm (PM 2.5) was associated with dementia incidence, after adjusting for lifestyle, socioeconomic status, and road traffic noise (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval] 1.35 [1.15-1.59] per interquartile range of 2.6 µg/m 3). There was no association of PM2.5 with dementia in physically active nurses. Association with road traffic noise diminished after adjusting for PM₂.₅ (1.02 [0.93-1.11] per 7.6 dB).

DISCUSSION: Long-term exposure to air pollution increases risk of dementia, and physical activity may moderate this risk.

HIGHLIGHTS: Long-term exposure to air pollution was associated with increased risk of dementia among female nurses from the Danish Nurse Cohort. Association of air pollution with dementia was independent of road traffic noise. Association of road traffic noise with dementia diminished after adjusting for air pollution. Physical activity moderated adverse effects of air pollution on dementia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAlzheimer's & Dementia
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)4080-4091
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

© 2024 The Authors. Alzheimer's & Dementia published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Alzheimer's Association.

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