PM-CARE is an acronym for Particulate Matter Cardio Respiratory Effects; the aim of the study is to investigate the mechanisms through which urban air particulate matter causes harmful effects on cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
To assess hematologic and inflammatory parameters in healthy subjects and in subjects with cardiac or chronic lung disease in Summer and Winter surveys of the PM-CARE Study.
Three panels of nonsmoking adult subjects, 35 with cardiovascular disease (heart group), 21 with chronic lung disease (COPD or asthma) (lung group), and 27 healthy subjects (healthy group), were recruited from the patients’ community of 2 Italian hospitals. Each subject was investigated for environmental and clinical parameters for 1 day during and after his/her habitual activities in summer 2005 and in winter 2005/2006. Environmental parameters included ultrafine, fine, and coarse fractions of particulate matter, CO, O3, NO2 (for environmental data, see abstract “Assessment of Personal PM Exposure in the PM-CARE Project”).
Clinical investigation consisted of daily symptom/activity recording, measurement of heart and lung functions, and analysis of biomarkers of cardiorespiratory injury in blood and sputum samples.
Biologic samples were collected at the end of the 24-hour investigation: differential blood cells count, fibrinogen, coagulation parameters (aPTT, INR, PF100, F1+2, vWF, t-PAI, D-dimer), inflammatory parameters (TNF-alfa, sR-I and II of TNF-alfa, IL-8, IL-10 measured both in plasma and in vitro, following stimulation with phytohemagglutinin or lipopolysaccharide), hs-CRP. Coagulation and inflammatory parameters will be measured at the end of the survey.
Preliminary environmental data showed higher personal exposure to particulate matter in the winter than in the summer survey (PM10 daily average mass concentration: winter 71 μg/m3, summer 44 μg/m3).
Preliminary summer and winter clinical data showed higher winter levels of platelets (P = 0.040), leukocytes (P = 0.047), and monocyte count (P = 0.001). Analyzing each group, we found higher winter levels of platelets (P = 0.03) and monocytes count (P = 0.046) in the healthy group and higher winter levels of monocyte count (P = 0.022) in the heart group.
Discussion and Conclusions:
Data from the winter survey suggested a systemic inflammatory response involving a variety cells type. More evaluations will be possible in the next months, when the collection and analysis of results will be completed. Hematologic and inflammatory results will be complemented with data on lung and cardiovascular functions, and the relation between clinical parameters and individual particulate matter monitoring results will be analyzed.