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Environ Int. 2018 Aug;117:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.04.033. Epub 2018 Apr 25.

Exposure to ambient PM2.5 concentrations and cognitive function among older Mexican adults.

Author information

1
National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. Electronic address: asalinas@insp.mx.
2
Departamento de Salud Pública, Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia.
3
National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. Electronic address: bmanrique@insp.mx.
4
National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. Electronic address: glmoreno@insp.mx.
5
Laboratory of Dementias, National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery, CDMX, Mexico.
6
College for Public Health and Social Justice, Saint Louis University, St Louis, MO, USA. Electronic address: zhengmin.qian@slu.edu.
7
Department of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China. Electronic address: linhualiang2002@163.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recent epidemiological research has shown that exposure to fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) is associated with a reduction in cognitive function in older adults. However, primary evidence comes from high-income countries, and no specific studies have been conducted in low and middle-income countries where higher air pollution levels exist.

OBJECTIVES:

To estimate the association between the exposure to PM2.5 and cognitive function in a nationally representative sample of older Mexican adults and the associated effect modifiers.

METHODS:

Data for this study were taken from the National Survey of Health and Nutrition in Mexico carried out in 2012. A total of 7986 older adults composed the analytical sample. Cognitive function was assessed using two tests: semantic verbal fluency and three-word memory. The annual concentration of PM2.5 was calculated using satellite data. Association between exposure to PM2.5 and cognitive function was estimated using two-level logistic and linear regression models.

RESULTS:

In adjusted multilevel regression models, each 10 μg/m3 increase in ambient PM2.5 raised the odds of a poorer cognitive function using the three-word memory test (OR = 1.37, 95% CI: 1.08, 1.74), and reduced the number of valid animal named in the verbal fluency test (β = -0.72, 95% CI: -1.05, -0.40). Stratified analyses did not yield any significant modification effects of age, sex, indoor pollution, urban/rural dwelling, education, smoking and other factors.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study supports an association between exposure to PM2.5 concentrations and cognitive function in older adults. This is particularly relevant to low- and middle-income countries, which are marked by a rapid growth of their aging population and high levels of air pollution.

KEYWORDS:

Cognitive function; Indoor pollution; Mexico; Older adults; Outdoor pollution; PM(2.5)

PMID:
29704751
DOI:
10.1016/j.envint.2018.04.033
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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