The relationship between exposure to traffic induced particles, respiratory health and cardiac diseases was studied in the RHINE Tartu cohort. A postal questionnaire with commonly used questions regarding respiratory symptoms, cardiac disease, lifestyle issues such as smoking habits, indoor environment, occupation, early life exposure and sleep disorders was sent to 2,460 adults. The annual concentrations of local traffic induced particles were modelled with an atmospheric dispersion model with traffic flow data, and obtained PM(exhaust) concentrations in 40 x 40 m grids were linked with home addresses with GIS. The relationship between the level of exhaust particles outside home and self-reported health problems were analyzed using a multiple logistic regression model. We found a significant relation between fine exhaust particles and cardiac disease, OR = 1.64 (95% CI 1.12-2.43) for increase in PM(exhaust) corresponding to the fifth to the 95th percentile range. The associations also were positive but non-significant for hypertension OR = 1.42 (95% CI 0.94-2.13), shortness of breath OR = 1.27 (95% CI 0.84-1.94) and other respiratory symptoms.
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