Cardiovascular Benefits of Short-Term Indoor Air Filtration Intervention in Elderly Living in Beijing: An Extended Analysis of BIAPSY Study

Environ Res. 2018 Nov;167:632-638. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.08.026. Epub 2018 Aug 23.


Background: Adverse cardiovascular effects associated with air pollution exposure have been widely demonstrated. However, inconsistent cardiovascular responses were observed from reducing indoor air pollution exposure. We aimed to assess whether short-term air filtration intervention could benefit cardiovascular health in elderly living in high pollution area.

Methods: A randomized crossover intervention study of short-term indoor air filtration intervention on cardiovascular health was conducted among 35 non-smoking elderly participants living in Beijing in the winter of 2013, as part of Beijing Indoor Air Purifier StudY (BIAPSY). Portable air filtration units were randomly allocated to active filtration for 2 weeks and sham filtration for 2 weeks in the households. Twelve-hour daytime ambulatory heart rate variability (HRV) and blood pressure (ABP) were measured during active and sham filtration. Concurrently, real-time indoor and outdoor particulate matter with diameter less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) and indoor black carbon (BC) concentrations were measured. We applied generalized additive mixed models to evaluate the associations of 1- to 10-h moving average (MA) exposures of indoor PM2.5 and BC with HRV and ABP indices, and to explore whether these associations could be modified by air filtration.

Results: We observed decreases of 34.8% in indoor PM2.5 and 35.3% in indoor BC concentrations during active filtration. Indoor PM2.5 and BC exposures were significantly associated with reduced HRV and increased ABP indices, and greater changes were observed during sham filtration. In specific, each 10 μg/m3 increase in indoor PM2.5 at MA8-h was associated with a significant reduction of 1.34% (95% CI: -2.42, -0.26) in SDNN during sham filtration, compared with a non-significant reduction of 0.81% (95% CI: -6.00, 4.68) during active filtration (Pinter< 0.001). Each 1 μg/m3 increase in indoor BC at MA8-h was associated with a significant increase of 2.41% (95% CI: 0.38, 4.47) in SBP during sham filtration, compared with a non-significant increase of -1.09% (95% CI: -4.06, 1.96) during active filtration (Pinter = 0.135). Nonlinear inverse exposure-response relationships of indoor air pollution exposures with predicted HRV and ABP indices also confirmed some cardiovascular benefits of short-term air filtration intervention.

Conclusions: Our results suggested that short-term indoor air filtration intervention can be of some cardiovascular benefits in elderly living with high pollution episodes.

Keywords: Black carbon; Blood pressure; Elderly; Heart rate variability; Indoor particulate matter.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants*
  • Air Pollution* / adverse effects
  • Air Pollution, Indoor* / adverse effects
  • Air Pollution, Indoor* / statistics & numerical data
  • Beijing
  • Humans
  • Particulate Matter / toxicity
  • Random Allocation


  • Air Pollutants
  • Particulate Matter