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Title: Childhood traffic-related air pollution and adverse changes in subclinical atherosclerosis measures from childhood to adulthood.

Authors: Farzan, Shohreh F; Habre, Rima; Danza, Phoebe; Lurmann, Frederick; Gauderman, W James; Avol, Edward; Bastain, Theresa; Hodis, Howard N; Breton, Carrie

Published In Environ Health, (2021 Apr 14)

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Chronic exposure to air pollutants is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among adults. However, little is known about how air pollution may affect the development of subclinical atherosclerosis in younger populations. Carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) is a measure of subclinical atherosclerosis that provides insight into early CVD pathogenesis. METHODS: In a pilot study of 70 participants from the Southern California Children's Health Study, we investigated CIMT progression from childhood to adulthood. Using carotid artery ultrasound images obtained at age 10 and follow-up images at age 21-22, we examined associations between childhood ambient and traffic-related air pollutants with changes in CIMT over time and attained adult CIMT using linear mixed-effects models adjusted for potential confounders. Average residential childhood exposures (i.e., birth to time of measurement at 10-11 years) were assigned for regional, ambient pollutants (ozone, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, interpolated from regulatory air monitoring data) and traffic-related nitrogen oxides (NOx) by road class (modeled using the CALINE4 line source dispersion model). Traffic density was calculated within a 300-m residential buffer. RESULTS: For each 1 standard deviation (SD) increase in childhood traffic-related total NOx exposure, we observed greater yearly rate of change in CIMT from childhood to adulthood (β: 2.17 μm/yr, 95% CI: 0.78-3.56). Increases in annual rate of CIMT change from childhood to adulthood also were observed with freeway NOx exposure (β: 2.24 μm/yr, 95% CI: 0.84-3.63) and traffic density (β: 2.11 μm/yr, 95% CI: 0.79-3.43). Traffic exposures were also related to increases in attained CIMT in early adulthood. No associations of CIMT change or attained level were observed with ambient pollutants. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, we observed adverse changes in CIMT over time in relation to childhood traffic-related NOx exposure and traffic density in our study population. While these results must be cautiously interpreted given the limited sample size, the observed associations of traffic measures with CIMT suggest a need for future studies to more fully explore this relationship.

PubMed ID: 33853624 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Adult; Air Pollutants/adverse effects*; Air Pollutants/analysis; Air Pollution/adverse effects; Air Pollution/analysis; Atherosclerosis/diagnostic imaging; Atherosclerosis/epidemiology*; Carotid Arteries/diagnostic imaging; Carotid Intima-Media Thickness; Child; Environmental Exposure/adverse effects; Environmental Exposure/analysis; Female; Humans; Male; Nitrogen Dioxide/adverse effects*; Nitrogen Dioxide/analysis; Ozone/analysis; Particulate Matter/analysis; Pilot Projects; Traffic-Related Pollution/adverse effects*; Traffic-Related Pollution/analysis; Vehicle Emissions/analysis; Vehicle Emissions/toxicity*; Young Adult

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