Fine particulate air pollution is associated with higher vulnerability to atrial fibrillation-the apacr study

Duanping Liao, Michele L. Shaffer, Fan He, Sol Rodriguez-Colon, Rongling Wu, Eric A. Whitsel, Edward O. Bixler, Wayne E. Cascio

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71 Scopus citations


The acute effects and the time course of fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) on atrial fibrillation/flutter (AF) predictors, including P-wave duration, PR interval duration, and P-wave complexity, were investigated in a community-dwelling sample of 106 nonsmokers. Individual-level 24-h beat-to-beat electrocardiogram (ECG) data were visually examined. After identifying and removing artifacts and arrhythmic beats, the 30-min averages of the AF predictors were calculated. A personal PM2.5 monitor was used to measure individual-level, real-time PM2.5 exposures during the same 24-h period, and corresponding 30-min average PM2.5 concentration were calculated. Under a linear mixed-effects modeling framework, distributed lag models were used to estimate regression coefficients (βs) associating PM2.5 with AF predictors. Most of the adverse effects on AF predictors occurred within 1.5-2 h after PM2.5 exposure. The multivariable adjusted βs per 10-μg/m3 rise in PM 2.5 at lag 1 and lag 2 were significantly associated with P-wave complexity. PM 2.5 exposure was also significantly associated with prolonged PR duration at lag 3 and lag 4. Higher PM2.5 was found to be associated with increases in P-wave complexity and PR duration. Maximal effects were observed within 2 h. These findings suggest that PM2.5 adversely affects AF predictors; thus, PM2.5 may be indicative of greater susceptibility to AF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-705
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A: Current Issues
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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