Acute changes in pulse pressure in relation to constituents of particulate air pollution in elderly persons
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
, p. 60-67
University of Antwerp
An increased pulse pressure (difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure) suggests aortic stiffening. The objective of this study was to examine the acute effects of both particulate matter (PM) mass and composition on blood pressure, among elderly persons. We carried out a panel study in persons living in elderly homes in Antwerp, Belgium. We recruited 88 non-smoking persons, 70% women with a mean age of 83 years (standard deviation: 5.2). Blood pressure was measured and a blood sample was collected on two time points, which were chosen so that there was an exposure contrast in ambient PM exposure. The elemental content of the collected indoor and outdoor PM2.5 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter <2.5 μm) mass concentration was measured. Oxygenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (oxy-PAHs) on outdoor PM10 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter <10 μm) were measured. Each interquartile range increase of 20.8 μg/m³ in 24-h mean outdoor PM2.5 was associated with an increase in pulse pressure of 4.0 mmHg (95% confidence interval: 1.86.2), in persons taking antihypertensive medication (n=57), but not in persons not using antihypertensive medication (n=31) (p for interaction: 0.02). Vanadium, iron and nickel contents of PM2.5 were significantly associated with systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure, among persons on antihypertensive medication. Similar results were found for indoor concentrations. Of the oxy-PAHs, chrysene-5,6-dione and benzo[a]pyrene-3,6-dione were significantly associated with increases in systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure. In elderly, pulse pressure was positively associated with acute increases in outdoor and indoor air pollution, among persons taking antihypertensive medication. These results might form a mechanistic pathway linking air pollution as a trigger of cardiovascular events.