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Cardiovascular benefits of reducing personal exposure to traffic-related noise and particulate air pollution: A randomized crossover study in the Beijing subway system

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • X Yang
  • X Jia
  • W Dong
  • S Wu
  • M R Miller
  • D Hu
  • H Li
  • L Pan
  • F Deng
  • X Guo

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Original languageEnglish
JournalIndoor Air
Early online date13 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2018


To assess the cardiovascular benefits of protecting against particulate air pollution and noise, we conducted a randomized crossover study with 40 young healthy college students from March to May 2017 in the underground subway, Beijing. Participants each received 4 treatments (no intervention phase [NIP], respirator intervention phase [RIP], headphone intervention phase [HIP], respirator plus headphone intervention phase [RHIP]) in a randomized order during 4 different study periods with 2-week washout intervals. We measured personal exposure to particulate matter (PM), noise and electrocardiogram (ECG) parameters (heart rate variability (HRV), heart rate (HR) and ST segment changes), ambulatory blood pressure (BP) continuously for 4 hours to investigate the cardiovascular effects. Compared with NIP, most of the HRV parameters increased, especially high frequency (HF) [21.1% (95% CI: 15.7%, 26.9%), 18.2% (95% CI: 12.8%, 23.9%), and 35.5% (95% CI: 29.3%, 42.0%) in RIP, HIP, and RHIP, respectively], whereas ST segment elevation and HR decreased for all 3 modes of interventions. However, no significant differences were observed in BP among the 4 treatments. In summary, short-term wearing of a respirator and/or headphone may be an effective way to minimize cardiovascular risk induced by air pollution in the subway by improving autonomic nervous function.

ID: 70295791