Chromosome aberrations in humans in relation to site of residence

Mutat Res. 1996 Aug 8;360(3):173-9. doi: 10.1016/s0165-1161(96)90014-x.


Baseline frequencies of chromosome aberrations (CAs) were assessed in three samples of healthy individuals, 60 living in a rural area (Po Delta), 134 in Pisa downtown and 116 in Cascina, a small town near Pisa, Italy. The three groups were similar for average age, sex ratio, smoking, drinking habit, and occupation. Multifactor ANOVA showed that CA frequencies increased significantly with age (p < 0.0001 excluding and including gaps), and with smoking habit (p = 0.0045 including gaps; p = 0.04 excluding gaps). Gender, drinking habit and occupation exerted no statistically significant effects. Multifactor ANOVA showed also a significant effect of the site of residence on the frequency of the CA, including gaps (p = 0.0003) and excluding gaps (p = 0.03). The CA frequency of the Pisa samples was statistically significantly higher than that of the Po Delta samples. Air pollution was considered to be a possible factor in determining the observed differences among the sites of residence, as levels of air pollutants (SO2 and TSP, total suspended articles) were more elevated in Pisa and Cascina than in the Po Delta. In addition, respiratory symptoms used as indirect indicators of air pollution at individual level were significantly more frequent in the Pisa population than in Cascina or in the Po Delta. These findings might support the hypothesis that air-pollution levels, even within E.E.C. (European Economic Community) air-quality standards, may influence baseline CA frequencies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Air Pollution*
  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Drinking
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Italy
  • Lung Diseases / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupations
  • Rural Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Rural Population
  • Smoking
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urban Population
  • Urban Renewal