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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030472

Individual and Neighborhood Stressors, Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease

1
Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences and Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
2
School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
3
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 28 February 2018 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published: 8 March 2018
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Abstract

Psychosocial and environmental stress exposures across the life course have been shown to be relevant in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Assessing more than one stressor from different domains (e.g., individual and neighborhood) and across the life course moves us towards a more integrated picture of how stress affects health and well-being. Furthermore, these individual and neighborhood psychosocial stressors act on biologic pathways, including immune function and inflammatory response, which are also impacted by ubiquitous environmental exposures such as air pollution. The objective of this study is to evaluate the interaction between psychosocial stressors, at both the individual and neighborhood level, and air pollution on CVD. This study used data from the 2009–2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) from Washington State. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) measured at the individual level, and neighborhood deprivation index (NDI) measured at the zip code level, were the psychosocial stressors of interest. Exposures to three air pollutants—particulate matter (both PM2.5 and PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2)—were also calculated at the zip code level. Outcome measures included several self-reported CVD-related health conditions. Both multiplicative and additive interaction quantified using the relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI), were evaluated. This study included 32,151 participants in 502 unique zip codes. Multiplicative and positive additive interactions were observed between ACEs and PM10 for diabetes, in models adjusted for NDI. The prevalence of diabetes was 1.58 (95% CI: 1.40, 1.79) times higher among those with both high ACEs and high PM10 compared to those with low ACEs and low PM10 (p-value = 0.04 for interaction on the multiplicative scale). Interaction was also observed between neighborhood-level stressors (NDI) and air pollution (NO2) for the stroke and diabetes outcomes on both multiplicative and additive scales. Modest interaction was observed between NDI and air pollution, supporting prior literature on the importance of neighborhood-level stressors in cardiovascular health and reinforcing the importance of NDI on air pollution health effects. ACEs may exert health effects through selection into disadvantaged neighborhoods and more work is needed to understand the accumulation of risk in multiple domains across the life course. View Full-Text
Keywords: adverse childhood experiences; air pollution; neighborhood deprivation; cardiovascular disease adverse childhood experiences; air pollution; neighborhood deprivation; cardiovascular disease
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Hazlehurst, M.F.; Nurius, P.S.; Hajat, A. Individual and Neighborhood Stressors, Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 472.

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