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The effect of oxidative stress polymorphisms on the association between long-term black carbon exposure and lung function among elderly men
  1. Irina Mordukhovich1,
  2. Johanna Lepeule1,2,3,4,
  3. Brent A Coull5,
  4. David Sparrow6,
  5. Pantel Vokonas6,
  6. Joel Schwartz1,7
  1. 1Exposure, Epidemiology, and Risk Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2INSERM, IAB, Team of Environmental Epidemiology applied to Reproduction and Respiratory Health, Grenoble, France
  3. 3University of Grenoble Alpes, IAB, Team of Environmental Epidemiology applied to Reproduction and Respiratory Health, Grenoble, France
  4. 4CHU de Grenoble, IAB, Team of Environmental Epidemiology applied to Reproduction and Respiratory Health, Grenoble, France
  5. 5Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  6. 6VA Normative Aging Study, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System and the Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  7. 7Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Irina Mordukhovich, Exposure, Epidemiology and Risk, Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Landmark Center, 401 Park Dr, Boston MA 02215, USA; imordukh{at}hsph.harvard.edu

Abstract

Background Black carbon (BC) is a pro-oxidant, traffic-related pollutant linked with lung function decline. We evaluated the influence of genetic variation in the oxidative stress pathway on the association between long-term BC exposure and lung function decline.

Methods Lung function parameters (FVC and FEV1) were measured during one or more study visits between 1995 and 2011 (n=651 participants) among an elderly cohort: the Normative Aging Study. Residential BC exposure levels were estimated using a spatiotemporal land use regression model. We evaluated whether oxidative stress variants, combined into a genetic score, modify the association between 1-year and 5-year moving averages of BC exposure and lung function levels and rates of decline, using linear mixed models.

Results We report stronger associations between long-term BC exposure and increased rate of lung function decline, but not baseline lung function level, among participants with higher oxidative stress allelic risk profiles compared with participants with lower risk profiles. Associations were strongest when evaluating 5-year moving averages of BC exposure. A 0.5 µg/m3 increase in 5-year BC exposure was associated with a 0.1% yearly increase in FVC (95% CI −0.5 to 0.7) among participants with low genetic risk scores and a 1.3% yearly decrease (95% CI −1.8 to −0.8) among those with high scores (p-interaction=0.0003).

Discussion Our results suggest that elderly men with high oxidative stress genetic scores may be more susceptible to the effects of BC on lung function decline. The results, if confirmed, should inform air-quality recommendations in light of a potentially susceptible subgroup.

  • Clinical Epidemiology
  • COPD ÀÜ Mechanisms
  • COPD epidemiology
  • Oxidative Stress

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