Background: Some studies have linked long-term exposure to traffic related air pollutants (TRAP) with adverse cardiovascular health outcomes; however, previous studies have not linked highly variable concentrations of TRAP measured at street-level within neighborhoods to cardiovascular health outcomes.
Methods: Long-term pollutant concentrations for nitrogen dioxide [NO2], nitric oxide [NO], and black carbon [BC] were obtained by street-level mobile monitoring on 30 m road segments and linked to residential addresses of 41,869 adults living in Oakland during 2010 to 2015. We fit Cox proportional hazard models to estimate the relationship between air pollution exposures and time to first cardiovascular event. Secondary analyses examined effect modification by diabetes and age.
Results: Long-term pollutant concentrations [mean, (standard deviation; SD)] for NO2, NO and BC were 9.9 ppb (SD 3.8), 4.9 ppb (SD 3.8), and 0.36 μg/m3 (0.17) respectively. A one SD increase in NO2, NO and BC, was associated with a change in risk of a cardiovascular event of 3% (95% confidence interval [CI] -6% to 12%), 3% (95% CI -5% to 12%), and - 1% (95% CI -8% to 7%), respectively. Among the elderly (≥65 yrs), we found an increased risk of a cardiovascular event of 12% for NO2 (95% CI: 2%, 24%), 12% for NO (95% CI: 3%, 22%), and 7% for BC (95% CI: -3%, 17%) per one SD increase. We found no effect modification by diabetes.
Conclusions: Street-level differences in long-term exposure to TRAP were associated with higher risk of cardiovascular events among the elderly, indicating that within-neighborhood differences in TRAP are important to cardiovascular health. Associations among the general population were consistent with results found in previous studies, though not statistically significant.
Keywords: Air pollution; Cardiovascular disease; Coronary heart disease; Mobile monitoring; Mortality.