The interaction effects of smoking and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons exposure on the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in coke oven workers

Chemosphere. 2020 May;247:125880. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.125880. Epub 2020 Jan 9.


Introduction: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of interrelated risk factors, which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer. The prevalence of MetS might be affected by environmental pollution and individual's poor lifestyles.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to evaluate the interactions effect of PAHs exposure and poor lifestyles on MetS among coke oven workers. We measured the concentrations of 11 urinary PAH metabolites among 682 coke oven workers by HPLC-MS. China adult blood lipid abnormality prevention guide (2016) was employed for diagnosing MetS. An interaction effect was tested in the modified Poisson regression models.

Results: The results showed that the urinary level of 1-NAP (P for trend = 0.043) and 2-FLU (P for trend = 0.037) had significant dose-response relationships with increased PR of MetS. For 1-NAP, statistically significant positive association was with low HDL among individuals (P for trend = 0.003). Besides, smoking was associated with a significantly increased risk of prevalence ratio of MetS (PR = 1.07; 95% CI 1.00-1.13), high triglycerides (PR = 1.13; 95% CI 1.05-1.20) and low HDL (PR = 1.07; 95% CI 1.01-1.14). Smokers who with high levels of 1-NAP and 2-FLU had higher prevalence ratio of MetS compared with non-smokers who with low levels of 1-NAP [PR (95% CI): 1.17 (1.06-1.29); P for trend = 0.002] and 2-FLU [PR (95% CI): 1.17 (1.06-1.29); P for trend = 0.004].

Conclusions: Our findings suggested PAHs exposure increased the prevalence ratio of MetS and this effect can be modified by smoking status.

Keywords: Interaction effects; Metabolic syndrome; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; Smoking.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / analysis*
  • China
  • Coke*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / analysis*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology*


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Coke
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons