Background: There is relatively little evidence of health effects of long-term exposure to traffic-related pollution in susceptible populations. We investigated whether long-term exposure to traffic air and noise pollution was associated with all-cause mortality or hospital readmission for myocardial infarction (MI) among survivors of hospital admission for MI.
Methods: Patients from the Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project database resident in Greater London (n = 1 8,138) were followed for death or readmission for MI. High spatially-resolved annual average air pollution (11 metrics of primary traffic, regional or urban background) derived from a dispersion model (resolution 20 m × 20 m) and road traffic noise for the years 2003-2010 were used to assign exposure at residence. Hazard ratios (HR, 95% confidence interval (CI)) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models.
Results: Most air pollutants were positively associated with all-cause mortality alone and in combination with hospital readmission. The largest associations with mortality per interquartile range (IQR) increase of pollutant were observed for non-exhaust particulate matter (PM(10)) (HR = 1.05 (95% CI 1.00, 1.10), IQR = 1.1 μg/m(3)); oxidant gases (HR = 1.05 (95% CI 1.00, 1.09), IQR = 3.2 μg/m(3)); and the coarse fraction of PM (HR = 1.05 (95% CI 1.00, 1.10), IQR = 0.9 μg/m(3)). Adjustment for traffic noise only slightly attenuated these associations. The association for a 5 dB increase in road-traffic noise with mortality was HR = 1.02 (95% CI 0.99, 1.06) independent of air pollution.
Conclusions: These data support a relationship of primary traffic and regional/urban background air pollution with poor prognosis among MI survivors. Although imprecise, traffic noise appeared to have a modest association with prognosis independent of air pollution.
Keywords: Cohort; Long-term air pollution; Myocardial infarction; Noise; Traffic.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.