The impact of chronic exposure to air pollution on electrocardiographic parameters
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Military Institute of Medicine, Warsaw, Poland (Department of Cardiology and Internal Diseases)
Institute of Cardiology, Warsaw, Poland (Department of Coronary Artery Disease and Cardiac Rehabilitation)
Medical University of Lodz, Łódź, Poland (Department of Clinical Pharmacology)
Online publication date: 2022-03-15
Corresponding author
Adam Stańczyk   

Medical Univeristy of Lodz, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Kopcińskiego 22, 90-153 Łódź, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2022;35(3):353-60
Objectives: Chronic exposure to air pollution caused by particulate matter (PM) with aerodynamic diameters of <10 μm (PM10) and <2.5 μm (PM2.5), dependent on “low emissions” resulting from the combustion of solid fuels in households, significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular events. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of chronic exposure to air pollution in the place of residence on the occurrence of coronary artery disease, hypertension and the presence of electrocardiographic abnormalities in 24-hour Holter ECG recording. Material and Methods: After considering the exclusion criteria, 100 consecutive patients of the cardiology outpatient clinic were enrolled in the study, including 50 patients living for ≥10 years in Warsaw districts with the lowest average concentrations of PM2.5 (group I) and 50 living in the districts with the highest recorded exposure (group II). All patients underwent clinical and physical examination, 12-lead ECG, 2D cardiac echo, and Holter ECG. To avoid the impact of acute exposure, the study was carried out in May – the month with statistically the lowest recorded PM2.5 concentrations. Results: In the group of patients exposed to higher concentrations of PM2.5 in the place of residence, coronary artery disease and arterial hypertension were significantly more frequent, while in the Holter ECG examination, ventricular arrhythmias, conduction disturbances and ST-segment and T-wave changes were independently associated with exposure to air pollution. Conclusions: Chronic exposure to air pollution in the place of residence contributes to the occurrence of chronic coronary syndrome and hypertension. Chronic exposure to air pollution seems to be a significant factor increasing the incidence of ventricular arrhythmia, conduction disturbances and ST-segment depression episodes in Holter monitoring. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2022;35(3):353–60
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