The Association Between Chronic Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Ischemic Heart Disease
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Increasing evidence links air pollution to the risk of cardiovascular disease. This study investigated the association between ischemic heart disease (IHD) prevalence and exposure to traffic-related air pollution (nitrogen dioxide [NO₂], fine particulate matter [PM₂.₅], and ozone [O₃]) in a population of susceptible subjects in Toronto. Local (NO₂) exposures were modeled using land use regression based on extensive field monitoring. Regional exposures (PM₂.₅, O₃) were modeled as confounders using inverse distance weighted interpolation based on government monitoring data. The study sample consisted of 2360 patients referred during 1992 to 1999 to a pulmonary clinic at the Toronto Western Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to diagnose or manage a respiratory complaint. IHD status was determined by clinical database linkages (ICD-9-CM 412-414). The association between IHD and air pollutants was assessed with a modified Poisson regression resulting in relative risk estimates. Confounding was controlled with individual and neighborhood-level covariates. After adjusting for multiple covariates, NO₂ was significantly associated with increased IHD risk, relative risk (RR) = 1.33 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.2, 1.47). Subjects living near major roads and highways had a trend toward an elevated risk of IHD, RR = 1.08 (95% CI: 0.99, 1.18). Regional PM₂.₅ and O₃ were not associated with risk of IHD.
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