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Title: Harmonised ambient air pollution and road traffic noise exposures linked to cardiovascular outcomes in European cohorts
Author: Cai, Yutong
ISNI:       0000 0004 7656 9009
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2016
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Ambient air pollution and traffic-related noise are the two leading environmental risk factors for health in Europe. Associations between long-term exposure to air pollution or noise and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) were not entirely consistent across previous studies in adults. Moreover, noise may confound the relationship between air pollution and CVD, and vice versa. This PhD project was conducted to study the separate and joint effects of both air pollution and noise on 1) CVD blood biochemistry including C-reactive protein, blood lipids and glucose and on 2) incident CVD outcomes. Health and exposures data were harmonised across four European cohorts (EPIC-Oxford, HUNT, LifeLines, UK Biobank), as part of the EU-funded BioSHaRE project. All harmonised data were virtually pooled for individual-level analyses in DataSHIELD, a novel statistical tool to perform a 'compute to data' statistical approach. The cross-sectional analyses on biochemistry data generally suggested that both air pollution and noise were significantly associated with adverse changes in markers of systemic inflammation, blood lipids and glucose. The significant association between road traffic noise and C-reactive protein or triglycerides was confounded by air pollution whilst both air pollution and noise were significantly and independently associated with elevated blood glucose levels. Incident analyses suggested a possible increased risk for both particulate matter (PM) and gaseous air pollution on incident cerebrovascular disease but a null association for ischaemic heart disease (IHD). Daytime noise was associated with a non-significantly increased risk for incident IHD but evidence for cerebrovascular disease was inconclusive. Both air pollution and noise effects on CVD outcomes were independent from each other. This PhD study provides some novel evidence of both air pollution and noise on CVD biochemistry and incident CVD outcomes, and is a substantial addition to the current knowledge of cardiovascular health effects of both ambient air pollution and traffic noise.
Supervisor: Hodgson, Susan ; Blangiardo, Marta ; Hansell, Anna ; de Hoogh, Kees Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral