Association between long-term exposure of ambient air pollutants and cardiometabolic diseases: A 2012 Korean Community Health Survey

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2019 Feb;29(2):144-151. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2018.09.008. Epub 2018 Sep 26.


Background and aim: The associations of long-term exposure to particulate matter <10 μm in size (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and ozone (O3) with cardiometabolic diseases (CMD) remain uncertain in the Korean population. Therefore, we sought to examine the associations between PM10, NO2, CO, SO2, and O3 and CMD using data collected from the Korean Community Health Survey.

Methods and results: We selected 100,867 adults aged 19 years or older who had lived in the same domicile for ≥10 years and surveyed them to collect data on socioeconomic characteristics; health-related behaviors; obesity; and physician-diagnosed CMD history, including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, stroke, myocardial infarction, and ischemic heart disease. We calculated interquartile ranges for PM10, NO2, CO, SO2, and O3 from the 10 year average concentrations (2003-2012). Hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia were positively associated with PM10, NO2, CO, SO2, and O3 after adjusting for confounding factors. Obesity was positively associated with PM10, NO2, SO2, and O3. On the other hand, we found no associations between stroke, myocardial infarction, and ischemic heart disease and exposure to PM10, NO2, CO, SO2, and O3 in these subjects. In subjects aged ≥65 years, the risk of dyslipidemia was markedly increased under exposure to NO2 and CO compared to subjects aged <65 years. The risk of obesity was also significantly increased under exposure to PM10 and NO2. However, sex differences in these associations were not found.

Conclusion: Long-term exposure to PM10, NO2, CO, SO2, and O3 may be a risk factor of CMD in Korean adults.

Keywords: Air pollution; Diabetes mellitus; Dyslipidemia; Hypertension; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Diseases / diagnosis
  • Metabolic Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Particulate Matter / adverse effects*
  • Prognosis
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors


  • Air Pollutants
  • Particulate Matter