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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000089
Original Articles

Short-Term Effects of Air Pollution on Oxygen Saturation in a Cohort of Senior Adults in Steubenville, Ohio

Luttmann-Gibson, Heike PhD; Sarnat, Stefanie Ebelt ScD; Suh, Helen H. ScD; Coull, Brent A. PhD; Schwartz, Joel PhD; Zanobetti, Antonella PhD; Gold, Diane R. MD

Continued Medical Education
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Abstract

Objective: We examine whether ambient air pollution is associated with oxygen saturation in 32 elderly subjects in Steubenville, Ohio.

Methods: We used linear mixed models to examine the effects of fine particulate matter less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5), sulfate (SO42−), elemental carbon, and gases on median oxygen saturation.

Results: An interquartile range increase of 13.4 μg/m3 in PM2.5 on the previous day was associated with a decrease of −0.18% (95% confidence interval: −0.31 to −0.06) and a 5.1 μg/m3 interquartile range increase in SO42− on the previous day was associated with a decrease of −0.16% (95% confidence interval: −0.27 to −0.04) in oxygen saturation during the initial 5-minute rest period of the protocol.

Conclusions: Increased exposure to air pollution, including the nontraffic pollutant SO42− from industrial sources, led to changes in oxygen saturation that may reflect particle-induced pulmonary inflammatory or vascular responses.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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