Fine particulate air pollution and premature ventricular contractions: The REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study

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Abstract

Background:

It is unknown if higher levels of ambient particulate matter (PM) exposure increase the risk for premature ventricular contractions (PVC) in a population-based study of men and women, and if this relationship varies by race or sex.

Methods:

We examined the association of PM <2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) concentration with PVCs in 26,121 (mean age=64±9.3 years; 55% female; 41% black) participants from the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study. Estimates of short- (2-week) and long-term (1-year) PM2.5 exposures were computed prior to the baseline visit using geographic information system data on the individual level at the coordinates of study participants' residences. PVCs were identified from baseline electrocardiograms.

Results:

PVCs were detected in 1719 (6.6%) study participants. Short- (OR=1.08, 95%CI=1.03, 1.14) and long- (OR=1.06, 95%CI=1.01, 1.12) term PM2.5 exposures were associated with PVCs. Interactions were not detected by race or sex. An interaction between short-term PM2.5 exposure and PVCs was detected for those with cardiovascular disease (OR=1.16, 95%CI=1.06, 1.27) compared with those without cardiovascular disease (OR=1.05, 95%CI=0.99, 1.12; p-interaction=0.027).

Conclusion:

Our findings suggest that PM2.5 exposure is associated with an increased risk for PVCs in a biracial population-based study of men and women. We also have identified persons with cardiovascular disease as an at-risk population for PVCs when increases in short-term PM2.5 concentration occur.

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