Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Aug;119(8):1130-5. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1002921. Epub 2011 Mar 31.

Particulate matter exposures, mortality, and cardiovascular disease in the health professionals follow-up study.

Author information

South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Program and Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA.



The association of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular outcomes with air pollution exposures has been well established in the literature. The number of studies examining chronic exposures in cohorts is growing, with more recent studies conducted among women finding risk estimates of greater magnitude. Questions remain regarding sex differences in the relationship of chronic particulate matter (PM) exposures with mortality and cardiovascular outcomes.


In this study we explored these associations in the all-male Health Professionals Follow-Up Study prospective cohort.


The same spatiotemporal exposure estimation models, similar outcomes, and biennially updated covariates were used as those previously applied in the female Nurses' Health Study cohort.


Among 17,545 men residing in the northeastern and midwestern United States, there were 2,813 deaths, including 746 cases of fatal coronary heart disease (CHD). An interquartile range change (4 µg/m3) in average exposure to PM ≤ 2.5 µm in diameter in the 12 previous months was not associated with all-cause mortality [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.94; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.87-1.00] or fatal CHD (HR = 0.99; 95% CI, 0.87-1.13) in fully adjusted models. Findings were similar for separate models of exposure to PM ≤ 10 µm in diameter and PM between 2.5 and 10 µm in diameter and for copollutant models.


Among this cohort of men with high socioeconomic status living in the midwestern and northeastern United States, the results did not support an association of chronic PM exposures with all-cause mortality and cardiovascular outcomes in models with time-varying covariates. Whether these findings suggest sex differences in susceptibility or the protective impact of healthier lifestyles and higher socioeconomic status requires additional investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center