Objectives: Traffic and ambient air pollution exposure are positively associated with cardiovascular disease, potentially through atherosclerosis promotion. Few studies have assessed associations of these exposures with thoracic aortic calcium Agatston score (TAC) or abdominal aortic calcium Agatston score (AAC), systemic atherosclerosis correlates. We assessed whether living close to a major road and residential fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure were associated with TAC and AAC in a Northeastern US cohort.
Design: Cohort study.
Setting: Framingham Offspring and Third Generation participants residing in the Northeastern USA.
Participants and outcome measures: Among 3506 participants, mean age was 55.8 years; 50% female. TAC was measured from 2002 to 2005 and AAC up to two times (2002-2005; 2008-2011) among participants from the Framingham Offspring or Third Generation cohorts. We first assessed associations with detectable TAC (logistic regression) and AAC (generalised estimating equation regression, logit link). As aortic calcium scores were right skewed, we used linear regression models and mixed-effects models to assess associations with natural log-transformed TAC and AAC, respectively, among participants with detectable aortic calcium. We also assessed associations with AAC progression. Models were adjusted for demographic variables, socioeconomic position indicators and time.
Results: There were no consistent associations of major roadway proximity or PM2.5 with the presence or extent of TAC or AAC, or with AAC progression. Some estimates were in the opposite direction than expected.
Conclusions: In this cohort from a region with relatively low levels of and variation in PM2.5, there were no strong associations of proximity to a major road or PM2.5 with the presence or extent of aortic calcification, or with AAC progression.
Keywords: EPIDEMIOLOGY; PUBLIC HEALTH.
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