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Health effects of air pollution components, noise and socioeconomic status (“HERMES”)

Principal Investigator: 

Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark

This study will assess myocardial infarction, stroke, diabetes, and biomarkers related to cardiovascular disease and diabetes in three large Danish cohorts.  The investigators will estimate exposure to several pollutants and transportation noise and evaluate the roles of socioeconomic status, green space, physical activity, diet, and stress.

Funded under

Poster abstract for HEI Annual Conference 2022

Air pollution, including ultrafine particles, and risk of MI, stroke, and diabetes in Denmark – the HERMES study

Ole Raaschou-Nielsen1,3, Mette Sørensen1,2, Aslak Harbo Poulsen1, Ulla Arthur Hvidtfeldt1, Lise M. Frohn3, Matthias Ketzel3,4, Jesper H. Christensen3, Jørgen Brandt3

1Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark; 2Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark; 3Aarhus University, Roskilde, Denmark; 4University of Surrey, Guildford, U.K.

Background. Previous studies have shown associations between air pollution and MI, stroke, and diabetes, but the role of ultrafine particles (UFP) is uncertain. We aimed to investigate the association between air pollution, including UFP, and risk of MI, stroke, and diabetes in the Danish population.

Methods. We developed the Danish multiscale DEHM/UBM/AirGIS modelling system to include also UFP. We established a cohort consisting of the Danish population (35+ years?), traced the address history of each individual, and calculated concentrations of PM2.5, UFP, elemental carbon (EC), and NO2 at the front door of each address using the DEHM/UBM/AirGIS model. We used Cox regression for analyses of 1,964,702 (MI), 1,971,246 (stroke), and 2,631,488 (diabetes) individuals, who were followed up from 2005 through 2017. We computed hazard ratios (HRs) in association with averages of air pollution over addresses held the last 5 years, and adjusted the analyses for age, year, sex, and individual and area-based socio-demographic variables.

Results. The interquartile ranges (IQR) of PM2.5, UFP, EC, and NO2 were 1.85 µg/m3, 4248 particles/cm3, 0.28 µg/m3, and 7.15 µg/m3. Preliminary results showed that an IQR increase in PM2.5, UFP, EC, and NO2 was associated with HRs for MI of, respectively, 1.053 (1.035–1.071), 1.040 (1.025–1.055), 1.009 (1.000–1.019) and 1.027 (1.013–1.040). Corresponding HRs for stroke were 1.077 (1.061–1.094), 1.039 (1.026–1.052), 1.009 (1.001–1.018), and 1.028 (1.017–1.040), and corresponding HRs for diabetes were 1.043 (1.031–1.056), 1.052 (1.042–1.063), 1.022 (1.016–1.027), and 1.056 (1.046–1.065).

Conclusions. This study showed associations between air pollution, including UFPs, and risk of MI, stroke, and diabetes in the Danish population.