Days of high ambient carbon dioxide (CO) have been associated with increased hospital admissions for cardiac disease. This study was conducted to determine if daily concentrations of CO and fine particulates (PM2.5) are associated with daily changes in heart rate variability.
Each of 36 adults with coronary artery disease had personal exposure to PM2.5 and CO measured along with heart rate variability for one 24-hour period each week for up to 10 weeks.
Among those not taking beta-receptor blockers, there was a positive association between the standard deviation of the R-to-R intervals and CO (P = 0.02). No effect was found for PM2.5.
Urban exposure to CO may exert a biologic effect on the heart, which may be modified by medications.
Several studies from various countries within the last decade have shown that ambient air pollutants cause short-term health effects in lower concentrations than believed earlier. Obtaining reliable and comprehensive health and environmental data is difficult but is the basic prerequisite for these studies. Linkage of data on air pollution and on several health effects has been conducted in Helsinki since the late 1980s, using time series analysis. The uniform population, small socioeconomic differences, a practically free national health care system with high coverage and extensive health, pollution and meteorological data render such studies possible. These kinds of local studies are necessary because many confounders or modifiers cause problems for the generalization of results of studies from other locations. Internal standardization, recommendations and guidelines concerning the methodology of linkage studies are needed to save work and money and to ensure the reliability of results.
Recent evidence suggests an association between persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and type 2 diabetes. In two First Nations communities where wild food is consumed by a large portion of the population, we compared pollutants in plasma between diabetic and non-diabetic individuals, and investigated the strength of association between pollutants and insulin resistance/secretion in non-diabetic individuals.
The study population consisted of 72 participants. Oral Glucose Tolerance Tests were used to assess diabetes status. Plasma was used to determine POP concentrations and mercury concentrations were determined from hair samples.
Age-adjusted plasma concentrations of some pollutants were significantly higher in diabetic than in non-diabetic individuals. When taking into account age, adiposity levels, and smoking status, POP levels were not associated with insulin resistance nor with insulin secretion in non-diabetic individuals.
These findings confirm that POP concentrations in plasma may be higher in diabetic than in non-diabetic individuals. No association was however seen between POP concentrations and markers of insulin resistance/secretion in non-diabetic individuals.
The authors carried out a time-series study to determine whether short-term increases in the concentrations of spores were associated with emergency department visits from asthma among children 0 to 9 years of age in Montreal, 1994-2004. Concentrations of spores were obtained from one sampling monitor. The authors used parametric Poisson models to model the association between daily admissions to emergency rooms for asthma and ambient exposures to a variety of spores, adjusting for secular trends, changes in weather, and chemical pollutants. For first admissions and exposures to Basidiomycetes, the authors found positive associations at all lags but the concurrent day. For Deuteromycetes and Cladosporium, risks were positive starting at lag 3 days and diminished at lag 6 days. There was little evidence of associations for readmissions, except for Basidiomycetes. The results indicate that Basidiomycetes and Cladosporium spores may be implicated in the exacerbation of asthma among children, most notably in the case of first-time visits to emergency departments, and that the effects appear to be delayed by several days.
By measuring a battery of basic physiological biomarkers and the concentration of SigmaDDT in adult female perch (Perca fluviatilis), an assumed aquatic pollution gradient was confirmed, with the city of Stockholm (Sweden) as a point source of anthropogenic substances. The investigation included an upstream gradient, westwards through Lake M?laren (46 km), and a downstream gradient, eastwards through the Stockholm archipelago (84 km). The results indicated a severe pollution situation in central Stockholm, with poor health status of the perch: retarded growth, increased frequency of sexually immature females, low gonadosomatic index, and disturbed visceral fat metabolism. SigmaDDT, measured as a pollution indicator, was 10-28 times higher than the background in perch from the Baltic Proper. Besides the main gradient other sources of pollution also influenced the response pattern of the measured biomarkers. In particular, there were strong indications of pollution coming from the Baltic Sea.
A battery of biochemical biomarkers and the SigmaPCB concentration in adult female perch (Perca fluviatilis) verified an aquatic pollution gradient with the city of Stockholm (Sweden) as a point source of anthropogenic substances. The investigation included both an upstream gradient, 46 km westwards through Lake M?laren, and a downstream gradient, 84 km eastwards through the Stockholm archipelago. Besides the main gradient from Stockholm, there were strong indications of pollution coming from the Baltic Sea. The results indicated a severe pollution situation in central Stockholm, with poor health status of the perch, characterised by increased specific EROD activity in the liver, increased liver EROD somatic index, decreased AChE activity in the muscle, increased amount of DNA adducts in the liver, and a high concentration of biliary 1-pyrenol. In addition, laboratory exposure to common EROD inducers elicited an abnormal response, suggestive of chronic intoxication.
Knowledge about changes in exposure to toxic metals over time remains very sparse, in particular for children, the most vulnerable group. Here, we assessed whether a reduction in environmental pollution with cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg) caused a change in exposure over time. In total, 1257 children (age 4-9) in two towns in Sweden were sampled once in 1986-2013. Blood concentrations of Cd (b-Cd; n=1120) and Hg (b-Hg; n=560) were determined.
The median b-Cd was 0.10 (geometric mean 0.10; range 0.010-0.61) ?g/L and b-Hg was 0.91 (geometric mean 0.83; range 0.021-8.2) ?g/L. Children living close to a smelter had higher b-Cd and b-Hg than those in urban and rural areas. There was no sex difference in b-Cd or b-Hg, and b-Cd and b-Hg showed no significant accumulation by age. b-Cd decreased only slightly (0.7% per year, p
During the period of the registered outbreak of cholera in 2001 in Kazan 171 V. cholerae cultures were isolated in the focus of the infection (from patients, carriers and 7 environmental objects). The use of the basic and additional tests, including the polymerase chain reaction, made it possible to establish the circulation of V. cholerae, phagovar 15, in the focus of the infection. The strain isolated from the water reservoir Azino-1 in Kazan was identical in its properties to the epidemically dangerous strains isolated from patients. On the whole, the data obtained in the identification of the strains showed that the cultures isolated from patients, vibrio-carriers and environmental objects were identical.
Occupational exposure is an important potential confounder in air pollution studies because it is plausible that individuals who live in highly polluted areas also work in more polluted environments. While the original investigators made some efforts to control for possible confounding by occupational variables, it was felt that these could be improved upon. The reanalysis team attempted to control for occupational confounding by supplementing the original data sets with two new variables, an indicator of the "dirtiness" of a subject's job and an indicator of possible exposure to occupational lung carcinogens. The attribution of these variables was based on the job title recorded by the original investigators and on the judgment of our experts concerning typical exposure patterns in different occupations. We fitted Cox proportional-hazards models identical to those that had been used by the original investigators while also including one or both of the new occupational covariates in the models. In none of the analyses did the inclusion of the occupational variables materially change the results. It would therefore appear that, in general, the results reported by the original investigators were not distorted by inadequate control of occupational variables. We also carried out some analyses using the dirtiness index as a stratification variable to assess effect modification. There was some indication, albeit inconsistent, that the effect of air pollution on mortality was greater among subjects with dirty jobs than among those with clean jobs.