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Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Symposium Abstracts

Change in Residential Proximity to Traffic and Risk of Death from Coronary Heart Disease

Gan, Wenqi; Tamburic, Lillian; Davies, Hugh; Demers, Paul; Koehoorn, Mieke; Brauer, Michael

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doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000362629.45350.e3
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Background and Objectives:

Several epidemiologic studies have demonstrated that residential proximity to traffic is associated with accelerated coronary atherosclerosis and increased risk of coronary events. This study was aimed to investigate whether change in residential proximity to traffic was able to alter the risk of death from coronary heart disease (CHD).


This population-based cohort study was conducted in the greater Vancouver metropolitan region, Canada. All residents aged 45–85 years who resided in the study region for at least 5 years (exposure period) and without previous CHD at baseline were included. CHD deaths during a 4-year follow-up period were identified using hospitalization and death records. Residential (postal code) proximity to traffic was calculated using a geographic information system. The data were modeled using multivariate logistic regression.


A total of 450,283 participants with complete demographic and residential proximity information were enrolled. Compared to the participants consistently living far from traffic (>150m from a highway or >50m from a major road) during the exposure period and the follow-up period, those consistently living close to traffic (≤150m from a highway or ≤50m from a major road) were 29% (95% CI 1.18–1.41) more likely to die from CHD during the follow-up period after adjustment for baseline age, sex, pre-existing diseases (diabetes, COPD, or hypertensive heart disease), and neighborhood socioeconomic status. For those who moved away from traffic during the exposure period, there was a non-significant 14% increase in the risk of CHD death (95% CI 0.95–1.37) during the follow-up period; whereas for those moving closer to traffic, the risk increased 20% (95% CI 1.00–1.43).


This study confirmed previous findings that living close to traffic was associated with increased risk of coronary death. Importantly, this study revealed that change in residential proximity to traffic was able to alter the risk of coronary death.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.