Source-specific fine particulate air pollution and systemic inflammation in ischaemic heart disease patients

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Abstract

Objective

To compare short-term effects of fine particles (PM2.5; aerodynamic diameter <2.5 µm) from different sources on the blood levels of markers of systemic inflammation.

Methods

We followed a panel of 52 ischaemic heart disease patients from 15 November 2005 to 21 April 2006 with clinic visits in every second week in the city of Kotka, Finland, and determined nine inflammatory markers from blood samples. In addition, we monitored outdoor air pollution at a fixed site during the study period and conducted a source apportionment of PM2.5 using the Environmental Protection Agency's model EPA PMF 3.0. We then analysed associations between levels of source-specific PM2.5 and markers of systemic inflammation using linear mixed models.

Results

We identified five source categories: regional and long-range transport (LRT), traffic, biomass combustion, sea salt, and pulp industry. We found most evidence for the relation of air pollution and inflammation in LRT, traffic and biomass combustion; the most relevant inflammation markers were C-reactive protein, interleukin-12 and myeloperoxidase. Sea salt was not positively associated with any of the inflammatory markers.

Conclusions

Results suggest that PM2.5 from several sources, such as biomass combustion and traffic, are promoters of systemic inflammation, a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

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