Traffic-related air pollution associated pulmonary pathophysiologic changes and cardiac injury in elderly patients with COPD


Traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) has shown enormous environmental toxicity, but its cardiorespiratory health impact on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been less studied. We followed a panel of 45 COPD patients with 4 repeated clinical visits across 14 months in a traffic-predominated urban area of Beijing, China, with concurrent measurements of TRAP metrics (fine particulate matter, black carbon, oxides of nitrogen and carbon monoxide). Linear mixed-effect models were performed to evaluate the associations and potential pathways linking traffic pollution to indicators of spirometry, cardiac injury, inflammation and oxidative stress. We observed that interquartile range increases in moving averages of TRAP exposures at prior up to 7 days were associated with significant reductions in large and small airway functions, namely decreases in forced vital capacity of 3.1-9.3% and forced expiratory flow 25-75% of 5.9-16.4%. Higher TRAP levels were also associated with worsening of biomarkers relevant to lung injury (hepatocyte growth factor and surfactant protein D) and cardiac injury (high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I, B-type natriuretic peptide and soluble ST2), as well as enhanced airway/systemic inflammation and oxidative stress. Mediation analyses showed that TRAP exposures may prompt cardiac injury, possibly via worsening pulmonary pathophysiology. These findings highlight the importance of traffic pollution control priority in urban areas.

Authors: Tong Wang, Hongbing Xu, Yutong Zhu, Xiaoyan Sun, Jie Chen, Beibei Liu, Qian Zhao, Yi Zhang, Lingyan Liu, Jiakun Fang, Yunfei Xie, Shuo Liu, Rongshan Wu, Xiaoming Song, Bei He, Wei Huang
; Full Source: Journal of hazardous materials 2021 Oct 9;424(Pt B):127463. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.127463.