Multi-City Analysis of the Acute Effect of Polish Smog on Cause-Specific Mortality (EP-PARTICLES Study)

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death worldwide, with air pollution becoming a major environmental problem. According to the Global Burden of Disease 2019, air pollution causes around 6.7 million deaths annually, exceeding even that of tobacco smoking. Polish smog is a unique type of air pollution, mainly composed of particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which might have exceptionally adverse cardiovascular effects. In our latest study, we aimed to assess, whether Polish smog has a short-term effect on mortality due to acute coronary syndromes and ischemic stroke and identify the most vulnerable groups.

What are the main findings of our study?

Chronobiology and the short-term effect of air pollution on stroke incidence

Ambient air pollution is a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but data on its impact on stroke incidence, temporal variation, and mortality are limited. We aimed to investigate the association between short-term exposure to major air pollutants and incidences of stroke in north-eastern Poland. Our second purpose was to assess the association between incidence and mortality of stroke and the seasons, months, days of the week, and its correlation with particulate matters (PMs) concentrations. We analyzed 4838 patients between 2011 and 2020, 45.6% of whom were male, the average age was 74.3 years old. What were the results on air pollution and stroke incidence?

Impact of short-term air pollution exposure on acute coronary syndrome in two cohorts of industrial and non-industrial areas: A time series regression with 6,000,000 person-years of follow-up (ACS – Air Pollution Study)

There is a lack of studies directly comparing the effect of air pollution on acute coronary syndrome (ACS) occurrence in industrial and non-industrial areas. Therefore, the study focused on a comparison of association of air pollution exposure with ACS in two cohorts of industrially different areas.

The 10-Year Study of the Impact of Particulate Matters on Mortality in Two Transit Cities in North-Eastern Poland (PL-PARTICLES)

The detrimental influence of air pollution on mortality has been established in a series of studies. The majority of them were conducted in large, highly polluted cities-there is a lack of studies from small, relatively clean regions. The aim was to analyze the short-term impact of particulate matters (PMs) on mortality in north-eastern Poland. Time-stratified case-crossover design was performed for mortality in years 2008-2017.

Exposure to air pollution and renal function

Air pollution contributes to the premature death of approximately 428,000 citizens of Europe every year. The adverse effects of air pollution can be observed in respiratory, circulatory systems but also in renal function. We decide to investigate the hypothesis indicating that we can observe not only long- but also short-term impact of air pollution on kidney function. We used linear, log-linear, and logistic regression models to assess the association between renal function and NO2, SO2, and PMs.

Effect of air pollution on the number of hospital admissions for acute coronary syndrome in elderly patients

As air pollution is a documented risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, the aim of the study was to assess the effect of air pollution on the number of hospital admissions for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in elderly patients. The medical records of 26 695 patients hospitalized for ACS between 2008 and 2017 were examined. Weather conditions and the following components of air pollution were analyzed: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5) and a diameter of 10 μm or less (PM10).

Exposure to air pollution-a trigger for myocardial infarction? A nine-year study in Bialystok-the capital of the Green Lungs of Poland (BIA-ACS registry)

This study aimed to assess the effect of air pollution and weather conditions on the frequency of hospital admissions due to acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in the population of Bialystok, known as the capital of the Green Lungs of Poland. The study analyzed the medical records of 2,645 patients living within the borders of Bialystok who were treated for ACS between 2009 and 2017 and the data on air pollutants—nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5) and 10 μm or less (PM10) – and the basic meteorological factors (temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure). A time-stratified case-crossover study design was applied to assess the effects of particulate matter, the concentration of gases, and weather conditions on ACS.

Does climate change affect the chronobiological trends in the occurrence of acute coronary syndrome?

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) are the leading cause of death all over the world. In the last years, the chronobiology of their occurrence has been changing. Medical records of 10,529 patients hospitalized for ACS in the Medical University of Bialystok, in 2008–2017, were examined. The highest seasonal mean for ACS was recorded in spring and it was the season with the largest temperature changes from day to day (∆ temp. = 11.01). Analysis of weekly changes showed that the highest frequency of ACS occurred on Thursday, while in the STEMI subgroup it was Monday. Sunday was associated with decreased admissions due to all types of ACS.

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