Inflammatory markers and lung function in relation to indoor and ambient air pollution

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Ambient air pollution causes a range of adverse health effects, whereas effects of indoor sources of air pollution are not well described in high-income countries. We compared hazards of ambient air pollution and indoor sources with respect to important biomarkers of cardiorespiratory effects in terms of lung function and systemic inflammation in a middle-aged Danish cohort. Our cohort comprised 5199 men and women aged 49-63 years at the recruitment during April 2009 to March 2011, with information on exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) and use of candles, wood stove, kerosene heater and gas cooker as well as relevant covariates. Ambient air pollution exposure was assessed as 2-year mean nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) at the address (mean ± SD: 17.1 ± 9.9 μg/m 3) and 4-day average levels of particulate matter with diameter <2.5 μm (PM 2.5; mean ± SD: 12.5 ± 6.0 μg/m 3) in urban background. Lung function was assessed as % predicted forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) and inflammatory markers comprised interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-10, IL-18, interferon gamma (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). We used random-effect regression models controlling for potential confounders as well as models with further adjustment for self-reported health or for all other exposures. In models adjusted for confounders FEV1 was inversely associated with exposure to NO 2, (-0,83% per 10 μg/m 3; 95% CI: -1.26; -0.41%), SHS (-0.56% per 1 of 5 categories increment; 95% CI: -0.89; -0.23%), and gas cooker without hood (-0.89%; 95% CI: -1.62; -0.17%), whereas use of wood stove and candles showed positive associations, although these attenuated by mutual adjustment for all exposures or self-reported health. IL-6 showed positive associations with NO 2 (6.30% increase in log-transformed values per 10 μg/m 3; 95% CI: 3.54; 9.05%), PM 2.5 (7.82% per 10 μg/m 3; 95% CI: 3.35; 12.4%), SHS (4.38% per increase of 1 of 5 categories; 95% CI: 2.22; 6.54%) and use of kerosene (13.8%; 95% CI: 2.51; 25.1%), whereas the associations with use of wood stove and candles were inverse. PM 2.5 and NO 2 showed positive associations with IFN-γ and TNF-α, while PM 2.5 further associated with IL-10 and IL-18. Hs-CRP was inversely associated with use of candles. These results suggest that the levels of exposure to ambient air pollution and SHS are more harmful than are the levels of exposure to indoor combustion sources from candles and wood stoves in a high-income setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113944
JournalZentralblatt fur Hygiene und Umweltmedizin
Volume241
Number of pages9
ISSN0934-8859
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

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