Scientific Sessions 2011
ORLANDO, Fla. High levels of exposure to particulate matter
appeared to worsen the atherogenic profiles of workers who entered the initial
dust cloud at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist
attacks, according to research presented at the American Heart Association
Scientific Sessions 2011.
Exposure to particulate matter is associated with adverse health
effects leading to increased morbidity, researchers from the Mount Sinai
School of Medicine in New York wrote in an abstract. Law enforcement
workers were exposed to high levels of particulate pollution after working at
Ground Zero and may exhibit accelerated atherosclerosis.
Researchers used peripheral arterial tonometry and dynamic
contrast-enhanced MRI to evaluate the atherosclerosis profiles of 31 workers
with high or low exposure to particulate matter at Ground Zero. They defined
high exposure as working at the site within 2 days after the attacks and low
exposure as working at the site after Sept. 13, 2001. The researchers also
obtained demographic, biomarker and ankle brachial index measurements from all
participants and determined independent predictors of increased area under
curve from dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI using all variables.
Those with high exposure to particulate matter had lower peripheral
arterial tonometry values, indicating worse endothelial dysfunction vs. those
with low exposure (1.7 vs. 1.94; P=.038). Researchers also observed
higher dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI area under the curve uptake, suggesting
increased neovascularization, in the high-exposure group when compared with the
low-exposure group (2.65 vs. 1.88; P=.016). No significant differences
in demographic and biomarker parameters were found between high and low
exposure levels; however, there was a difference in ankle brachial index
measurements of the right leg. Increased neovascularization was also associated
with high exposure to particulate matter, a CRP level of more than 3 mg/L and
total cholesterol, according to regression model results (P<.026).
High exposure to particulate matter decreases endothelial
function, increases plaque neovascularization and thereby worsens the
atherogenic profile of Ground Zero workers, the researchers wrote.
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Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial