Industrial Developmental Toxicants and Congenital Heart Disease in Urban and Rural Alberta, Canada
Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Fetal and Neonatal Cardiology Program, Department of Pediatrics, Stollery Children’s Hospital, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2B7, Canada
Women and Children’s Health Research Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1C9, Canada
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2R7, Canada
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E3, Canada
Division of Immunology, Hematology, Oncology, Palliative Care and Environmental Health, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1C9, Canada
inVIVO Planetary Health of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), West New York, NJ 07093, USA
Section of Pediatric Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics, Alberta Children’s Hospital, University of Calgary, AB T3B 6A8, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Challenges 2018, 9(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe9020026
Received: 17 May 2018 / Revised: 28 June 2018 / Accepted: 28 June 2018 / Published: 1 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection The Emerging Concept of Planetary Health: Connecting People, Place, Purpose and Planet)
The etiology of congenital heart defects (CHD) is not known for many affected patients. In the present study, we examined the association between industrial emissions and CHD in urban and rural Alberta. We acquired the emissions data reported in the Canadian National Pollutant Release Inventory (n = 18) and identified CHD patients born in Alberta from 2003–2010 (n = 2413). We identified three groups of emissions after principal component analysis: Groups 1, 2, and 3. The distribution of exposure to the postal codes with births was determined using an inverse distance weighted approach. Poisson or negative binomial regression models helped estimate associations (relative risk (RR), 95% Confidence Intervals (CI)) adjusted for socioeconomic status and two criteria pollutants: nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter with a mean aerodynamic diameter of ≤2.5 micrometers. The adjusted RR in urban settings was 1.8 (95% CI: 1.5, 2.3) for Group 1 and 1.4 (95% CI: 1.3, 1.6) for both Groups 2 and 3. In rural postal codes, Groups 1 and 3 emissions had a RR of 2.6 (95% CI: 1.03, 7). Associations were only observed in postal codes with the highest levels of emissions and maps demonstrated that regions with very high exposures were sparse.