Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Jan;118(1):87-91. doi: 10.1289/ehp.0900818.

Association of heart rate variability in taxi drivers with marked changes in particulate air pollution in Beijing in 2008.

Author information

  • 1Peking University School of Public Health, Beijing, China.



Heart rate variability (HRV), a marker of cardiac autonomic function, has been -associated with particulate matter (PM) air pollution, especially in older patients and those with cardio-vascular diseases. However, the effect of PM exposure on cardiac autonomic function in young, healthy adults has received less attention.


We evaluated the relationship between exposure to traffic-related PM with an aerodynamic diameter <or= 2.5 microm (PM2.5) and HRV in a highly exposed panel of taxi drivers.


Continuous measurements of personal exposure to PM2.5 and ambulatory electrocardiogram monitoring were conducted on 11 young healthy taxi drivers for a 12-hr work shift during their work time (09002100 hr) before, during, and after the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Mixed-effects regression models were used to estimate associations between PM2.5 exposure and percent changes in 5-min HRV indices after combining data from the three time periods and controlling for potentially confounding variables.


Personal exposures of taxi drivers to PM2.5 changed markedly across the three time -periods. The standard deviation of normal-to-normal (SDNN) intervals decreased by 2.2% [95% confidence interval (CI), 3.8% to 0.6%] with an interquartile range (IQR; 69.5 microg/m3) increase in the 30-min PM2.5 moving average, whereas the low-frequency and high-frequency powers decreased by 4.2% (95% CI, 9.0% to 0.8%) and 6.2% (95% CI, 10.7% to 1.5%), respectively, in association with an IQR increase in the 2-hr PM2.5 moving average.


Marked changes in traffic-related PM2.5 exposure were associated with altered cardiac autonomic function in young healthy adults.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk