Sebhat Erqou, MD, PhD

Epidemiological studies have shown that chronic exposure to environmental air pollution is associated with adverse health outcomes, but their role in racial disparities in clinical outocmes has not been fully elucidated. We aimed to assess racial differences in air pollution exposures to ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and their association with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, arterial endothelial function, incident CVD events and all-cause mortality. We used data from the Heart Strategies Concentrating on Risk Evaluation (HeartSCORE) study to estimate one-year average air pollution exposure to ambient fine particulate matter pollutants (particles with median aerodynamic diameter <2.5 µm [PM2.5]) for approximately1700 participants. We found that PM2.5 exposure was independently associated with elevated blood glucose, worse endothelial function, and incident CVD events and all-cause mortality. Blacks had a 45% higher risk of incident CVD events and all-cause mortality than Whites after adjusting for risk factors. Approximately a quarter of this difference appeared to be explained by differential exposure to PM2.5.

Erqou S, Clougherty JE, Olafiranye O, Magnani JW, Aiyer A, Tripathy S, Kinnee E, Kip KE, Reis SE. Particulate Matter Air Pollution and Racial Differences in Cardiovascular Disease Risk. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2018 Apr; 38(4):935-942. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.117.310305. Epub 2018 Mar 15. PMID: 29545240