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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1297; doi:10.3390/ijerph14111297

Environmental Pollution by Benzene and PM10 and Clinical Manifestations of Systemic Sclerosis: A Correlation Study

Institute of Public Health-Hygiene Section, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 00168 Roma, Italy
Department of Rheumatology, Fondazione Policlinico Gemelli, 00168 Rome, Italy
Vice Medical Director, San Raffaele Cassino Hospital, 03043 Cassino (FR), Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Umberto Moscato
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 17 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Atmospheric air pollution has been associated with a range of adverse health effects. The environment plays a causative role in the development of Systemic Sclerosis (SSc). The aim of the present study is to explore the association between particulate (PM10) and benzene (B) exposure in Italian patients with systemic sclerosis and their clinical characteristics of the disease. A correlation study was conducted by enrolling 88 patients who suffer from SSc at the Fondazione Policlinico “A. Gemelli” in Rome (Italy) in the period from January 2013 to January 2014. The average mean concentrations of B (in 11 monitoring sites) and PM10 (in 14 sites) were calculated using data from the Regional Environmental Protection Agency’s monitoring stations located throughout the Lazio region (Italy) and then correlated with the clinical characteristics of the SSc patients. Of the study sample, 92.5% were female. The mean age was 55 ± 12.9 years old and the mean disease duration from the onset of Raynaud’s phenomenon was 13.0 ± 9.4 years. The Spearman’s correlation showed that concentrations of B correlate directly with the skin score (R = 0.3; p ≤ 0.05) and inversely with Diffusing Lung Carbon Monoxide (DLCO) results (R = −0.36; p = 0.04). This study suggests a possible role of B in the development of diffuse skin disease and in a worse progression of the lung manifestations of SSc. View Full-Text
Keywords: systemic sclerosis; benzene; particulate matter (PM10); environmental exposure systemic sclerosis; benzene; particulate matter (PM10); environmental exposure

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Borghini, A.; Poscia, A.; Bosello, S.; Teleman, A.A.; Bocci, M.; Iodice, L.; Ferraccioli, G.; La Milìa, D.I.; Moscato, U. Environmental Pollution by Benzene and PM10 and Clinical Manifestations of Systemic Sclerosis: A Correlation Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1297.

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