Physicians' Academy for Cardiovascular Education

More air pollutants, fewer HDL particles

Association of Air Pollution Exposures With High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol and Particle Number: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

Bell G, Mora S, Greenland P, et al. - Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2017;37:published online ahead of print

Background

Although HDL-C is inversely associated with cardiovascular events, there is no evidence showing that HDL-C elevations are associated with a clinical benefit [1,2]. One reason could be that the measurement of HDL particle number (HDL-P) may better reflect the cardio-protective effects of HDL compared with HDL-C [3,4]. Ambient air pollution, which may negatively influence the HDL concentrations through inflammation and oxidative stress, is associated with atherosclerosis, heart failure and cardiovascular death [5,6].

In this analysis of the MESA study (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis Air Pollution), the associations between long- and short-term concentrations of the traffic-related air pollutants PM2.5 or black carbon (BC) and HDL-c or HDL-P were evaluated in a multi-ethnic cohort of 6654 adults without cardiovascular disease. Long-term exposure periods were averaged to 12 months, 3 months and 2 weeks prior to examination. Short-term averaging periods estimate average PM2.5 exposure on the day of blood draw, the day before blood draw, and a moving average of the previous 5 days of PM2.5 exposure

Main results

Conclusion

In a large, multi-ethnic cohort without cardiovascular disease, exposure to high levels of the traffic-related pollutants PM2.5 (3 months) and BC (1 year) was associated with changes in several measures of HDL. Moreover, short-term exposure was associated with lower HDL-P. These findings suggest that the negative influence of air pollutants on HDL, may explain the increased cardiovascular risk under these environmental conditions.

References

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Find this article online at Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol.