B4008 - Association between air pollution and cardiovascular health in young adults LongITools - 28/03/2022

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Ana Goncalves Soares | MRC IEU, University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Prof Nicholas Timpson, Dr Ahmed Elhakeem
Title of project: 
Association between air pollution and cardiovascular health in young adults (LongITools)
Proposal summary: 

This proposal is part of LongITools project (B3289).

A growing body of evidence has shown that exposure to air pollution is associated with higher blood pressure/hypertension, cardiovascular events, and cardiovascular mortality. However, few studies have assessed the impact of air pollution on cardiovascular health in younger individuals.

A meta-analysis of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies has shown that an increase in PM2.5 was associated with higher carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT). Even though there is a growing body of evidence on the association between air pollution and cardiovascular outcomes later in life, very little is known in younger individuals [3]. A study carried out with young adults (mean age 28, SD 1.0) showed that nitrogen dioxide (NO2), but not PM2.5, was associated with increased pulse wave velocity (PWV).

It is also possible that the associations between air pollution and cardiovascular health outcomes differ according to intermediate factors, such as body mass index (BMI). A study with 158 individuals aged 17-22 years found that a 1 standard deviation (SD) change in long-term NO2 exposure was associated with 11.3mg/dL higher total cholesterol and 9.4mg/dL higher low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and these associations were stronger amongst obese participants, suggesting that obesity might exacerbate the effects of air pollution.

The aim of this study is to assess the long-term associations of air pollution with several measures of cardiovascular health in young adults (i.e. central and peripheral blood pressure, heart rate, PWV and CIMT) and explore possible effect modifications by BMI in these associations.

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 22 February, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 28 February, 2022
Epidemiology, Cardiovascular disease, Statistical methods, BMI, Cardiovascular, Environment - enviromental exposure, pollution