Objectives: Environmental exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) has been associated with an increased risk of both acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and diabetes mellitus (DM). A study of first-time hospitalizations for AMI with DM as a comorbidity in populations presumed to be exposed or not exposed on the basis of residence near POPs sites was conducted to investigate whether exposure to POPs increases the environmental burden of disease.
Materials and methods: We examined the association between residential proximity to environmental sources of POPs and hospitalization rates for first-time AMI with comorbid DM in 31,428 patients aged 25-74 years, using the New York Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System data for a 12-year period (1993-2004). Environmental exposure status was assessed based on the zip code of residence. Adjusted relative risks (RR) of AMI hospitalization were estimated by multivariate Poisson regression.
Results: Hospitalization rates for first-time AMI with comorbid DM were significantly greater in populations living near POPs sites (adjusted RR = 1.169, 95% CI: 1.014-1.347, p < 0.05). These rates were also significantly higher in African Americans than in Caucasians (adjusted RR = 1.902, 95% CI: 1.659-2.180, p < 0.001), in males (adjusted RR = 1.767, 95% CI: 1.695-1.843, p < 0.001), and for older ages (p for trend < 0.001). These findings, consistent with established non-modifiable risk factors, support the plausibility of our model.
Conclusions: Residential proximity to environmental sources of POPs is associated with a significant increase in hospitalization rates for first-time AMI with comorbid DM, compared to respective rates in populations not exposed to POPs.