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Environ Health Perspect. 2013 Sep;121(9):1034-9. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1206145. Epub 2013 Jul 2.

Improved air quality and attenuated lung function decline: modification by obesity in the SAPALDIA cohort.

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1
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland. tamara.schikowski@unibas.ch

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Air pollution and obesity are hypothesized to contribute to accelerated decline in lung function with age through their inflammatory properties.

OBJECTIVE:

We investigated whether the previously reported association between improved air quality and lung health in the population-based SAPALDIA cohort is modified by obesity.

METHODS:

We used adjusted mixed-model analyses to estimate the association of average body mass index (BMI) and changes in particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter ≤ 10 µm (PM10; ΔPM10) with lung function decline over a 10-year follow-up period.

RESULTS:

Lung function data and complete information were available for 4,664 participants. Age-related declines in lung function among participants with high average BMI were more rapid for FVC (forced vital capacity), but slower for FEV1/FVC (forced expiratory volume in 1 sec/FVC) and FEF25-75 (forced expiratory flow at 25-75%) than declines among those with low or normal average BMI. Improved air quality was associated with attenuated reductions in FEV1/FVC, FEF25-75, and FEF25-75/FVC over time among low- and normal-BMI participants, but not overweight or obese participants. The attenuation was most pronounced for ΔFEF25-75/FVC (30% and 22% attenuation in association with a 10-μg/m3 decrease in PM10 among low- and normal-weight participants, respectively.)

CONCLUSION:

Our results point to the importance of considering health effects of air pollution exposure and obesity in parallel. Further research must address the mechanisms underlying the observed interaction.

PMID:
23820868
PMCID:
PMC3764076
DOI:
10.1289/ehp.1206145
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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