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Sci Total Environ. 2013 Sep 1;461-462:341-7. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.04.089. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

Studying the effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on peripheral arterial disease in the United States.

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Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health and Health Professions, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States.



Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are a group of prevalent pollutants which are produced by incomplete combustion of organic materials such as coal, fuel, tobacco smoking and food cooking. The associations between exposures to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) have not been well studied.


We used the 2001-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to investigate the associations between eight monohydroxy urinary metabolites of four PAHs and PAD.


In a logistic regression model, subjects within the middle and highest tertiles of fluorene metabolites, 2-hydroxyfluorene (2-FLUO) and 3-hydroxyfluorene (3-FLUO), and phenanthrene metabolites, 1-hydroxyphenanthrene (1-PHEN) and 2-hydroxyphenanthrene (2-PHEN), had significantly higher prevalence of PAD as compared to subjects within the lowest tertile after adjusting for cigarette smoking, diabetes mellitus and other covariates (For 2-FLUO, the 3rd tertile: OR=2.22, 95% CI=1.13-4.37, p for trend=0.02; For 3-FLUO, the 3rd tertile: OR=2.36, 95% CI: 1.16-4.77, p for trend=0.02; For 1-PHEN, the 3rd tertile: OR=1.84, 95% CI: 1.01-3.37, p for trend=0.04; For 2-PHEN, the 3rd tertile: OR=1.76, 95% CI: 1.07-2.88, p for trend=0.03).


Our findings suggest that exposure to PAHs may increase the risk of PAD. Further studies are necessary to explore the associations between PAHs and PAD.


1-NAP; 1-PHEN; 1-PYR; 1-hydroxynaphthalene; 1-hydroxyphenanthrene; 1-hydroxypyrene; 2-FLUO; 2-NAP; 2-PHEN; 2-hydroxyfluorene; 2-hydroxynaphthalene; 2-hydroxyphenanthrene; 3-FLUO; 3-PHEN; 3-hydroxyfluorene; 3-hydroxyphenanthrene; ABI; AORs; Adjusted odds ratios; Ankle–brachial index; CIs; CVD; Cardiovascular disease; Confidence intervals; Environmental exposure; Monohydroxy urinary metabolites of PAHs; NHANES; OH-PAHs; ORs; Odds ratios; PAD; PAHs; Peripheral arterial disease; Peripheral arterial disease (PAD); Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

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