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Study examines role of social stressors in air pollution–disease links


HEI has published Research Report 206, Social Susceptibility to Multiple Air Pollutants in Cardiovascular Disease, which presents a study led by Jane Clougherty at Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University.

Clougherty and colleagues examined whether associations between community- and individual-level cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and ambient air pollutants vary by social stressors. Unique datasets included data on CVD events in all New York City hospitals, citywide fine particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone, community-level social stressors, and noise disturbance.

The study demonstrated that variations in the social stressors in New York City were associated with CVD events, reinforcing the importance of considering such stressors in air pollution health analyses.  At the same time, the study found that associations between pollutants and CVD were attenuated when adjusting for social stressors.