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Air pollution level changes in Beijing linked with biomarkers of cardiovascular disease
Date:5/15/2012

During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, changes in air pollution were associated with changes in biomarkers of systemic inflammation and thrombosis (formation of blood clot) as well as measures of cardiovascular physiology in healthy young persons, according to a study in the May 16 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on Global Health.

"Air pollution is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVD), but the mechanisms by which air pollution leads to CVD is not well understood. Hypothesized mechanisms with associated biomarkers include systemic inflammation and thrombosis or endothelial [thin layer of cells that line the heart and certain vessels and cavities within the body] dysfunction," according to background information in the article. "As a condition for hosting the 2008 Olympic Games, the Chinese government agreed to temporarily and substantially improve air quality in Beijing for the Olympics and subsequent Paralympics. This provided a unique opportunity to use a quasi-experimental design in which exposures and biomarkers were measured at baseline (pre-Olympics), following a change in pollution (during-Olympics), and then repeated after an expected return to baseline (post-Olympics)."

David Q. Rich, Sc.D., of the University of Rochester, New York, and colleagues conducted a study to determine whether markers related to CVD pathophysiological pathways (biomarkers for systemic inflammation and thrombosis, heart rate, and blood pressure) are sensitive to changes in air pollution. The researchers measured environmental air pollutants daily and also measured various biomarkers and other measures (heart rate, blood pressure) in 125 healthy young adults before, during, and after the 2008 Olympics (June 2-October 30). The biomarkers measured included those associated with systemic inflammation (fibrinogen, C-reactive protein [CRP], white blood cell [WBC] count) and thrombosis or endothelial dysfunction (platelet activation markers P-selectin [sCD6
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Contact: Alison Trinidad
alison.trinidad@usc.edu
323-442-3941
JAMA and Archives Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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