Abstract 18479: Short- and Long-term Air Pollution Exposure and the Risk for Premature Atrial Contractions and Atrial Fibrillation: The REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study
Background: Air pollution is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This suggests a potential association between air pollution and supraventricular arrhythmias, such as premature atrial contractions (PACs) and atrial fibrillation (AF). However, data from large-scale epidemiologic studies supporting this hypothesis are lacking.
Methods: We examined the association between air pollution with PACs and AF in 28,502 (mean age=65 ± 9.4 years; 55% female; 41% black) participants from the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study. Short-term (2-week) and long-term (1-year) PM2.5 exposure were computed prior to each participants’ baseline visit using individual level geographic information system data at geographic coordinates of participants’ residences. PACs were identified from the baseline electrocardiogram. AF was identified by the study electrocardiogram and by self-reported history of a physician diagnosis. Poisson regression was used to compute relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association of short- and long-term PM2.5 exposure with PACs and AF, separately.
Results: A total of 2,356 (9.2%) participants had evidence of PACs and 2,433 (8.5%) had AF at baseline. Short-term PM2.5 (per 10 μg/m3) exposure was not associated with PACs (RR=1.08, 95%CI=0.99, 1.19) or AF (RR=0.92, 95%CI=0.84, 1.02). Increases in long-term PM2.5 per 10 μg/m3 were associated with PACs (RR=1.35, 95%CI=1.10, 1.65) but not AF (RR=0.96, 95%CI=0.79, 1.17).
Conclusion: Long- but not short-term PM2.5 exposure is associated with PACs. This suggests a potential role for long-term PM2.5 exposure in initiating supraventricular arrhythmias that are triggered by PACs but not maintaining sustained rhythm disorders such as AF.
Author Disclosures: W.T. O'Neal: None. E.Z. Soliman: None. J.T. Efird: None. S.E. Judd: None. V.J. Howard: None. G. Howard: None. L.A. McClure: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.