Monday, June 27, 2005

PM makes the heart go pitter pat

Investigators have found one more data base to crunch to demonstrate the correlation between increases in pollution and cardiovascular effects. In this case, it was the signal from implanted defibrillators.

Patients given implantable cardioverter defibrillators were followed using a case-crossover design to study the association between ambient air pollution and up to 798 confirmed ventricular arrhythmias among 84 [of 203] subjects. The authors found that increases in 24-hour moving average particulate matter less than 2.5 ┬Ám in aerodynamic diameter and ozone were associated with 19% and 21% increased risks of ventricular arrhythmia, respectively. For each, there was evidence of a linear exposure response, and the associations appeared independent. These associations were stronger than associations with mean concentrations on the same calendar day and previous calendar days.

American Journal of Epidemiology 2005 161(12):1123-1132

Association of Short-term Ambient Air Pollution Concentrations and Ventricular Arrhythmias

David Q. Rich1,2, Joel Schwartz1,2,3, Murray A. Mittleman2,4, Mark Link5, Heike Luttmann-Gibson1, Paul J. Catalano6,7, Frank E. Speizer1,3 and Douglas W. Dockery1,2,3

1 Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA2 Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA3 Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA4 Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA5 Tufts-New England Medical Center, Tufts University, Boston, MA6 Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA7 Department of Biostatistical Science, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA

air pollution; arrhythmias; heart arrest; tachycardia, ventricular; ventricular fibrillation

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