Runs of ventricular and supraventricular tachycardia triggered by air pollution in patients with coronary heart disease

J Occup Environ Med. 2006 Nov;48(11):1149-58. doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000245921.15916.03.


Objective: The authors conducted an investigation of the association between air pollution and arrhythmia.

Methods: A prospective panel study (October 2000-April 2001) was conducted in Erfurt, Germany. Fifty-seven men with coronary heart disease were subjected to six 24-hour electrocardiogram recordings. Runs of supraventricular and ventricular tachycardia were associated with continuous ultrafine particle counts (UFP), accumulation mode particle counts (ACP), PM2.5, and gaseous pollutants. Poisson and linear regression models were applied adjusting for trend, weekday, and meteorologic data.

Results: Elevated concentrations of UFP, ACP, PM2.5, and nitrogen dioxide increased the risk for supraventricular runs and the number of ventricular runs at almost all lags. Statistically significant associations were found predominantly in the previous 24 to 71 hours and with the 5-day moving average.

Conclusion: Elevated concentrations of fine and ultrafine particle increased the risk of arrhythmia in men with coronary heart disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Carbon Monoxide / adverse effects
  • Coronary Disease / complications
  • Coronary Disease / physiopathology*
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitric Oxide / adverse effects
  • Nitrous Oxide / adverse effects
  • Particulate Matter / adverse effects*
  • Particulate Matter / analysis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sulfur Dioxide / adverse effects
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / etiology*
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / etiology*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Particulate Matter
  • Sulfur Dioxide
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Nitrous Oxide