Recent epidemiological evidence suggests that exposure to particulates may be a factor in the etiology of metabolic syndrome (MetS). In this novel study, we investigated the relationship between particulate levels and prevalence of MetS component abnormalities (hypertension, hyperglycemia, obesity) in a recruited cohort (N = 2025) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. We observed significant associations between a 10 μg/m³ increase in PM2.5 and increased risks for MetS (Risk Ratio (RR): 1.12; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.06-1.19), hyperglycemia (RR: 1.08; 95% CI: 1.03-1.14), and hypertension (RR: 1.09; 95% CI: 1.04-1.14). PM2.5 from soil/road dust was found to be associated with hyperglycemia (RR: 1.12; 95% CI: 1.06-1.19) and hypertension (RR: 1.11; 95% CI: 1.05-1.18), while PM2.5 from traffic was associated with hyperglycemia (RR: 1.33; 95% CI: 1.05-1.71). We did not observe any health associations with source-specific mass exposures. Our findings suggest that exposure to specific elemental components of PM2.5, especially Ni, may contribute to the development of cardiometabolic disorders.
Keywords: air pollution; diabetes; hyperglycemia; hypertension; metabolic syndrome; particulate matter.