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Association patterns for size-fractioned indoor particulate matter and black carbon and autonomic function differ between patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and their healthy spouses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Lu Pan
  • Wei Dong
  • Hongyu Li
  • Mark R Miller
  • Yahong Chen
  • Miranda Loh
  • Shaowei Wu
  • Junhui Xu
  • Xuan Yang
  • Masayuki Shima
  • Furong Deng
  • Xinbiao Guo

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-48
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Early online date7 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


BACKGROUND: The effect of health status on the relationship between particulate matter (PM) and black carbon (BC) and cardiac autonomic function has not been examined sufficiently directly comparing patients with healthy participants.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the association patterns between size-fractioned indoor PM and BC and cardiac autonomic function in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients and their healthy spouses.

METHODS: Twenty-four-hour heart rate variability (HRV) and heart rate (HR) was measured in eight pairs of stable COPD patients and their healthy spouses. Real-time size-fractioned indoor PM and BC levels were monitored on the same, and preceding, days. Mixed-effects models were used to estimate the changes in health indices and pollutants after controlling for potential confounding variables.

RESULTS: Increases in size-fractioned PM and BC were associated with alterations in cardiac autonomic function in both COPD patients and their healthy spouses. However, the association patterns differed between the two groups. In COPD group, an IQR (13.65 μg/m3) increase in PM0.5at 12-h moving average was associated with reductions of 14.62% (95% CI: -21.74%, -6.86%) in total power (TP) and 10.14% (95% CI: -16.11%, -3.76%) in high frequency (HF) power. In healthy volunteers, however, TP and HF declined immediately upon exposure to PM and then returned to normal levels gradually. In this group, an IQR increase in PM0.5at 5 min moving average was associated a 20.30% (95% CI: -25.49%, -14.73%) reduction in TP and a 31.79% (95% CI: -36.48%, -26.72%) reduction in HF.

CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to indoor PM and BC was associated with cardiac autonomic dysfunction in COPD patients and their healthy spouses. Exposure had a greater lagged effect on HRV in COPD patients than in healthy participants. These findings will aid the formulation of targeted measures to prevent the adverse effects of indoor air pollution for individuals with different health statuses.

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 55651751