The Effects of Acute Atmospheric Pressure Changes on the Occurrence of ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction: A Case-Crossover Study

Can J Cardiol. 2019 Jun;35(6):753-760. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2019.02.015. Epub 2019 Feb 27.


Background: Few studies have explored the influence of short-term exposure to atmospheric pressure changes on the abrupt onset of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). We sought to evaluate the association between acute atmospheric pressure changes and the occurrence of STEMI.

Methods: We studied STEMI patients from the Alberta Provincial Project for Outcomes Assessment in Coronary Heart Disease (APPROACH) from March 1, 2002 to December 31, 2016 in a case-crossover study design. Each case was matched with control intervals according to the same day of week, month, and year. All STEMI patients were linked with the nearest weather station within a 40-km radius according to residential postal code. The effect of exposure to air pressure changes, rate of air pressure changes, acute air pressure increase, and acute air pressure decrease 1 day to 7 days earlier on the onset of STEMI were analyzed with conditional logistic regression. All models were adjusted with daily average temperature, relative humidity, and average levels of 5 air pollutants.

Results: In 11,379 STEMI patients, positive associations with the onset of STEMI were only found at 7 days after exposure to acute air pressure decrease (odds ratio, 1.12; 95% confidence interval, 1.03-1.21), which was consistent in sensitivity and subgroup analyses. All the other models showed no evidence of statistically significant associations.

Conclusions: Acute air pressure decrease is associated with higher odds of a STEMI event 7 days after exposure. Weather advisories might be issued when atmospheric pressure decrease occurs.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alberta / epidemiology
  • Altitude
  • Atmospheric Pressure*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology*
  • ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction / etiology

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