Skip to main content
construction release_alert
Scholars@Duke will be undergoing maintenance April 11-15. Some features may be unavailable during this time.
cancel

Air Pollution and the microvasculature: a cross-sectional assessment of in vivo retinal images in the population-based multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA).

Publication ,  Journal Article
Adar, SD; Klein, R; Klein, BEK; Szpiro, AA; Cotch, MF; Wong, TY; O'Neill, MS; Shrager, S; Barr, RG; Siscovick, DS; Daviglus, ML; Sampson, PD ...
Published in: PLoS Med
November 30, 2010

BACKGROUND: Long- and short-term exposures to air pollution, especially fine particulate matter (PM(2.5)), have been linked to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. One hypothesized mechanism for these associations involves microvascular effects. Retinal photography provides a novel, in vivo approach to examine the association of air pollution with changes in the human microvasculature. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Chronic and acute associations between residential air pollution concentrations and retinal vessel diameters, expressed as central retinal arteriolar equivalents (CRAE) and central retinal venular equivalents (CRVE), were examined using digital retinal images taken in Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) participants between 2002 and 2003. Study participants (46 to 87 years of age) were without clinical cardiovascular disease at the baseline examination (2000-2002). Long-term outdoor concentrations of PM(2.5) were estimated at each participant's home for the 2 years preceding the clinical exam using a spatio-temporal model. Short-term concentrations were assigned using outdoor measurements on the day preceding the clinical exam. Residential proximity to roadways was also used as an indicator of long-term traffic exposures. All associations were examined using linear regression models adjusted for subject-specific age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, income, smoking status, alcohol use, physical activity, body mass index, family history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes status, serum cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, emphysema, C-reactive protein, medication use, and fellow vessel diameter. Short-term associations were further controlled for weather and seasonality. Among the 4,607 participants with complete data, CRAE were found to be narrower among persons residing in regions with increased long- and short-term levels of PM(2.5). These relationships were observed in a joint exposure model with -0.8 µm (95% confidence interval [CI] -1.1 to -0.5) and -0.4 µm (95% CI -0.8 to 0.1) decreases in CRAE per interquartile increases in long- (3 µg/m(3)) and short-term (9 µg/m(3)) PM(2.5) levels, respectively. These reductions in CRAE are equivalent to 7- and 3-year increases in age in the same cohort. Similarly, living near a major road was also associated with a -0.7 µm decrease (95% CI -1.4 to 0.1) in CRAE. Although the chronic association with CRAE was largely influenced by differences in exposure between cities, this relationship was generally robust to control for city-level covariates and no significant differences were observed between cities. Wider CRVE were associated with living in areas of higher PM(2.5) concentrations, but these findings were less robust and not supported by the presence of consistent acute associations with PM(2.5). CONCLUSIONS: Residing in regions with higher air pollution concentrations and experiencing daily increases in air pollution were each associated with narrower retinal arteriolar diameters in older individuals. These findings support the hypothesis that important vascular phenomena are associated with small increases in short-term or long-term air pollution exposures, even at current exposure levels, and further corroborate reported associations between air pollution and the development and exacerbation of clinical cardiovascular disease. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.

Duke Scholars

Altmetric Attention Stats
Dimensions Citation Stats

Published In

PLoS Med

DOI

EISSN

1549-1676

Publication Date

November 30, 2010

Volume

7

Issue

11

Start / End Page

e1000372

Location

United States

Related Subject Headings

  • Retinal Vessels
  • Middle Aged
  • Microvessels
  • Humans
  • General & Internal Medicine
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Air Pollution
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aged
 

Citation

APA
Chicago
ICMJE
MLA
NLM
Adar, S. D., Klein, R., Klein, B. E. K., Szpiro, A. A., Cotch, M. F., Wong, T. Y., … Kaufman, J. D. (2010). Air Pollution and the microvasculature: a cross-sectional assessment of in vivo retinal images in the population-based multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA). PLoS Med, 7(11), e1000372. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000372
Adar, Sara D., Ronald Klein, Barbara E. K. Klein, Adam A. Szpiro, Mary Frances Cotch, Tien Y. Wong, Marie S. O’Neill, et al. “Air Pollution and the microvasculature: a cross-sectional assessment of in vivo retinal images in the population-based multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA).PLoS Med 7, no. 11 (November 30, 2010): e1000372. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000372.
Adar, Sara D., et al. “Air Pollution and the microvasculature: a cross-sectional assessment of in vivo retinal images in the population-based multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA).PLoS Med, vol. 7, no. 11, Nov. 2010, p. e1000372. Pubmed, doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000372.
Adar SD, Klein R, Klein BEK, Szpiro AA, Cotch MF, Wong TY, O’Neill MS, Shrager S, Barr RG, Siscovick DS, Daviglus ML, Sampson PD, Kaufman JD. Air Pollution and the microvasculature: a cross-sectional assessment of in vivo retinal images in the population-based multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA). PLoS Med. 2010 Nov 30;7(11):e1000372.

Published In

PLoS Med

DOI

EISSN

1549-1676

Publication Date

November 30, 2010

Volume

7

Issue

11

Start / End Page

e1000372

Location

United States

Related Subject Headings

  • Retinal Vessels
  • Middle Aged
  • Microvessels
  • Humans
  • General & Internal Medicine
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Air Pollution
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aged