Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health have established the first link between air pollution and sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), a known cause of cardiovascular diseases.
Antonella Zanobetti, Ph.D., Susan Redline, MD, MPH, Diane Gold, M.D., M.P.H. and colleagues explored the link between air pollution levels, temperature increases and sleep-disordered breathing using data from the Sleep Heart Health Study, which included more than 6,000 participants between 1995 and 1998, and EPA air pollution monitoring data from Framingham (Massachusetts), Minneapolis, New York City, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, and Tucson.
The study appears online ahead of the print edition of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine on the American Thoracic Society's Web site.
SDB affects up to 17 percent of U.S. adults, many of whom are not aware that they have a problem. Air pollution is also an endemic issue in many of the nation's urban areas. Both SDB and pollution have been associated with a range of health problems, including increased cardiovascular mortality. "The influence of air pollution on SDB is poorly understood," said Dr. Zanobetti. "Our hypothesis was that elevation in ambient air pollution would be associated with an increased risk of SDB and nocturnal hypoxia, as well as with reduced sleep quality." The researchers further hypothesized that seasonal variations in temperature would exert an independent effect on SDB and sleep efficiency.
To test their hypotheses, the researchers used linear regression models that controlled for seasonality, mean temperature and other factors known to be associated with SDB, such as age, gender and smoking.
To examine the role of seasons, they performed a separate analysis, adding the interaction of season with the level of air pollution in the form of particulate matter under 10 μm, which is commonly associate
|Contact: Keely Savoie|
American Thoracic Society