Article

Exposure to Particulate Air Pollution and Cognitive Decline in Older Women

Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60625, USA.
Archives of internal medicine (Impact Factor: 13.25). 02/2012; 172(3):219-27. DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.683
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Chronic exposure to particulate air pollution may accelerate cognitive decline in older adults, although data on this association are limited. Our objective was to examine long-term exposure to particulate matter (PM) air pollution, both coarse ([PM 2.5-10 μm in diameter [PM(2.5-10)]) and fine (PM <2.5 μm in diameter [PM(2.5)]), in relation to cognitive decline.
The study population comprised the Nurses' Health Study Cognitive Cohort, which included 19,409 US women aged 70 to 81 years. We used geographic information system-based spatiotemporal smoothing models to estimate recent (1 month) and long-term (7-14 years) exposures to PM(2.5-10), and PM(2.5) preceding baseline cognitive testing (1995-2001) of participants residing in the contiguous United States. We used generalized estimating equation regression to estimate differences in the rate of cognitive decline across levels of PM(2.5-10) and PM(2.5) exposures. The main outcome measure was cognition, via validated telephone assessments, administered 3 times at approximately 2-year intervals, including tests of general cognition, verbal memory, category fluency, working memory, and attention.
Higher levels of long-term exposure to both PM(2.5-10) and PM(2.5) were associated with significantly faster cognitive decline. Two-year decline on a global score was 0.020 (95% CI, -0.032 to -0.008) standard units worse per 10 μg/m(3) increment in PM(2.5-10) exposure and 0.018 (95% CI, -0.035 to -0.002) units worse per 10 μg/m(3) increment in PM(2.5) exposure. These differences in cognitive trajectory were similar to those between women in our cohort who were approximately 2 years apart in age, indicating that the effect of a 10-μg/m(3) increment in long-term PM exposure is cognitively equivalent to aging by approximately 2 years.
Long-term exposure to PM(2.5-10) and PM(2.5) at levels typically experienced by many individuals in the United States is associated with significantly worse cognitive decline in older women.

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    • "Recently, there has been an increased interest in the effects of air pollution on the central nervous system (CNS) and neurodegeneration. Particle exposures have been associated with decreased cognitive function (Power et al. 2011), faster cognitive decline (Weuve et al. 2012), and Parkinson's disease (PD) hospitalizations (Zanobetti et al. 2014). Toxicological studies provide further evidence of an association between particulate air pollution and neurodegeneration, highlighting potential biological pathways, including systemic inflammation (Block et al. 2007, 2012), which has also been consistently linked with particle exposures (Madrigano et al. 2009; Rückerl et al. 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Long-term exposure to fine particles (PM2.5) has been consistently linked to heart and lung disease. Recently there has been increased interest to examine the effects of air pollution on the nervous system, with evidence showing potentially harmful effects on neurodegeneration. Our objective was to assess the potential impact of long-term PM2.5 exposure on event time, defined as time to the first admission for dementia, Alzheimer's or Parkinson's diseases (AD and PD, respectively) in an elderly population across the Northeastern US. We estimated the effects of PM2.5 on first hospital admission for dementia, AD and PD, among all Medicare enrollees >64 years in 50 northeastern US cities (1999-2010). For each outcome, we first ran a Cox proportional hazards model in each city, adjusting for prior cardiopulmonary-related hospitalizations and year, and stratified by follow-up time, age, gender and race. We then pooled the city-specific estimates together by employing a random effects meta-regression. We followed approximately 10 million subjects and observed significant associations of long-term PM2.5 city-wide exposure on all three outcomes. Specifically, we estimated a HR of 1.08; 95% CI: 1.05, 1.11 for dementia, 1.15; 95% CI: 1.11, 1.19 for AD and 1.08; 95% CI: 1.04, 1.12 for PD admissions per 1 μg/m(3) of increase in annual PM2.5 concentrations. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the relationship between long-term exposure to PM2.5 and time to the first hospitalization for the most common neurodegenerative diseases. We found strong evidence of an association for all three outcomes. Our findings provide the basis for more studies, as the implications to public health can be crucial.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 05/2015; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1408973 · 7.03 Impact Factor
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    • "Exposure to high concentrations of ambient particulate matter (PM) with aerodynamic diameters below 10 µm (PM 10 ) has been reported to show strong association with mortality (Park et al., 2013; Zhou et al., 2013), respiratory symptoms, brain function deficiency such as cognitive decline (Weuve et al., 2012), sleeping pattern disturbances in children (Abou–Khadra, 2013) and even the adverse birth outcomes (Sapkota et al., 2012). Ostro et al. (1999) reported for the city of Bangkok that a 10 μg/m 3 increment in the daily PM 10 concentration was associated with 1–2% increase in the daily natural mortality, 1–2% increase in cardiovascular mortality, and a 3–6% increase in respiratory mortality. "
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    • "Ambient GIS-based spatiotemporal exposure model predictions of PM 2.5 and PM 10 were available for all months between January 1988 and December 2007 for the continental United States. These values were generated for each address from nationwide expansions of previously validated spatiotemporal models (Weuve et al. 2012; Yanosky et al. 2008, 2009, in press). The models used monthly average PM 2.5 and/or PM 10 data from the U.S. "
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