Exposure to ambient particulate matter increases blood count parameters with potential to mediate a cardiovascular event: results from a population-based study in Portugal

Vânia Gaio, Rita Roquette, Alexandra Monteiro, Joana Ferreira, Sandra Rafael, Carlos Matias Dias, Baltazar Nunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Variations in blood count parameters are potential mechanisms involved in the occurrence of cardiovascular events caused by particulate matter (PM) exposure. This study aims to estimate the effect of PM10 exposure on blood count parameters with potential to mediate a cardiovascular event. We used data from 2211 participants of the 1st Portuguese Health Examination Survey (INSEF, 2015) with available information on blood count parameters and living within a 30-km radius of at least one air quality monitoring station with available PM10 measurements. Generalised linear models were used to assess both short (3 days) and long-term effects (1 year) of PM10 exposure on blood count parameters. Both short and long-term PM10 effects on blood count parameters were found, with males and females affected in a different way. In the short-term scenario, we found a 2.76% (95% CI: 0.65–4.87) increase in white blood cells among females per each 10μg/m3 PM10 increment. Additionally, there was a 2.96% (95% CI: 0.80–5.12) increase in red cell distribution width (RDW), per each 10μg/m3 PM10 increment, among males, when considering the long-term scenario. In conclusion, we detected some sex-differential associations regarding the short and long-term effect of PM10 exposure on blood count parameters with potential to mediate a cardiovascular event, namely on the RDW parameter, that were never been described. It is uncertain whether changes in blood count parameters due to PM10 exposure constitute an adverse health outcome or it reflects only a normal immunity response. However, due to its potential to trigger cardiovascular events, it is essential to reduce PM10 levels exposure to protect the population’s cardiovascular health.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAir Quality, Atmosphere and Health
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Blood counts
  • INSEF 2015
  • Leucocytes
  • Particulate matter
  • Platelets
  • RDW

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