Ambient temperature and cardiovascular biomarkers in a repeated-measure study in healthy adults: A novel biomarker index approach

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Abstract

Background:

Associations of ambient temperature with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality have been well documented in numerous epidemiological studies, but the underlying pathways remain unclear. We investigated whether systemic inflammation, coagulation, systemic oxidative stress, antioxidant activity and endothelial function may be the mechanistic pathways associated with ambient temperature.

Methods:

Forty study participants underwent repeated blood collections for 12 times in Beijing, China in 2010–2011. Ambient temperature and air pollution data were measured in central monitors close to student residences. We created five indices as the sum of weighted biomarker percentiles to represent the overall levels of 15 cardiovascular biomarkers in five pathways (systemic inflammation: hs-CRP, TNF-α and fibrinogen; coagulation: fibrinogen, PAI-1, tPA, vWF and sP-selectin; systemic oxidative stress: Ox-LDL and sCD36: antioxidant activity: EC-SOD and GPX1; and endothelial function: ET-1, E-selectin, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1). We used generalized mixed-effects models to estimate temperature effects controlling for air pollution and other covariates.

Results:

There were significant decreasing trends in the adjusted means of biomarker indices over the lowest to the highest quartiles of daily temperatures before blood collection. A 10 °C decrease at 2-d average daily temperature were associated with increases of 2.5% [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.7, 4.2], 1.6% (95% CI: 0.1, 3.1), 2.7% (95% CI: 0.5, 4.8), 5.5% (95% CI: 3.8, 7.3) and 2.0% (95% CI: 0.3, 3.8) in the indices for systemic inflammation, coagulation, systemic oxidative stress, antioxidant activity and endothelial function, respectively. In contrast, the associations between ambient temperature and individual biomarkers had substantial variation in magnitude and strength.

Conclusions:

The altered cardiovascular biomarker profiles in healthy adults associated with ambient temperature changes may help explain the temperature-related cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The biomarker index approach may serve as a novel tool to capture ambient temperature effects.

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