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Mediterranean diet lowers risk for air pollution-related complications, CVD death

The Mediterranean diet reduced risks for CVD-related mortality and complications often linked to long-term exposure to air pollutants, according to findings recently presented at the American Thoracic Society 2018 International Conference.

“Previous studies have shown that dietary changes, particularly the addition of antioxidants, can blunt the adverse effects of exposure to high levels of air pollution over short time periods,” Chris C. Lim, MS, a doctoral student at the New York University School of Medicine, said in a press release. “What we did not know was whether diet can influence the association between long-term air pollution exposure and health effects.”

Researchers assigned 548,699 participants (mean age, 62 years) from six states and two cities who participated in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study into one of five groups based on their compliance with the Mediterranean diet and estimated long-term exposure to ozone, nitrous oxide and fine particulate matter. About 25% of the study’s population resided where air pollution levels were 10 g/m3 or higher above the lowest exposure. All patients were followed for 17 years.

Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet reduced risks for CVD-related mortality and complications often linked to long-term exposure to air pollutants, according to findings recently presented at the American Thoracic Society 2018 International Conference. Photo Source: Shutterstock

 

Lim and colleagues found that when comparing the participants who were least adherent to the Mediterranean diet vs. those most adherent:

  • CVD death increased 17% for each 10 g/m3 increase in long-term average fine particulate matter exposure in those least adherent vs. 5% among the most adherent;
  • All CVD deaths increased 10% for each 10 parts per billion increase in nitrous oxide exposure in those least adherent vs. 2% among the most adherent;
  • MI deaths increased 20% for each 10 g/m3 increase in fine particulate matter exposure in those least adherent vs. 5% among the most adherent;
  • MI deaths increased 12% for each single parts per billion increase in nitrous oxide exposure in the least adherent vs. 4% among the most adherent; and
  • All-cause mortality increased 5% for each 10 parts per billion increase in long-term average nitrous oxide exposure in the least adherent vs. 2% among the most adherent.

“Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that particle air pollution caused by fossil fuel combustion adversely affects health by inducing oxidative stress and inflammation,” George Thurston, ScD, department of environmental medicine, New York University School of Medicine, said in the release. “On the other hand, the ozone effect was not significantly blunted by a Mediterranean diet, so ozone apparently affects cardiac health through a different mechanism.” – by Janel Miller

Reference: Lim CC, et al. Air pollution, Mediterranean diet, and cause-specific mortality risk in the NIH-AARP diet and health study. Presented at: American Thoracic Society 2018 International Conference; May 18-23; San Diego.

Disclosures: Healio Family Medicine was unable to determine relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.

 

The Mediterranean diet reduced risks for CVD-related mortality and complications often linked to long-term exposure to air pollutants, according to findings recently presented at the American Thoracic Society 2018 International Conference.

“Previous studies have shown that dietary changes, particularly the addition of antioxidants, can blunt the adverse effects of exposure to high levels of air pollution over short time periods,” Chris C. Lim, MS, a doctoral student at the New York University School of Medicine, said in a press release. “What we did not know was whether diet can influence the association between long-term air pollution exposure and health effects.”

Researchers assigned 548,699 participants (mean age, 62 years) from six states and two cities who participated in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study into one of five groups based on their compliance with the Mediterranean diet and estimated long-term exposure to ozone, nitrous oxide and fine particulate matter. About 25% of the study’s population resided where air pollution levels were 10 g/m3 or higher above the lowest exposure. All patients were followed for 17 years.

Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet reduced risks for CVD-related mortality and complications often linked to long-term exposure to air pollutants, according to findings recently presented at the American Thoracic Society 2018 International Conference. Photo Source: Shutterstock

 

Lim and colleagues found that when comparing the participants who were least adherent to the Mediterranean diet vs. those most adherent:

  • CVD death increased 17% for each 10 g/m3 increase in long-term average fine particulate matter exposure in those least adherent vs. 5% among the most adherent;
  • All CVD deaths increased 10% for each 10 parts per billion increase in nitrous oxide exposure in those least adherent vs. 2% among the most adherent;
  • MI deaths increased 20% for each 10 g/m3 increase in fine particulate matter exposure in those least adherent vs. 5% among the most adherent;
  • MI deaths increased 12% for each single parts per billion increase in nitrous oxide exposure in the least adherent vs. 4% among the most adherent; and
  • All-cause mortality increased 5% for each 10 parts per billion increase in long-term average nitrous oxide exposure in the least adherent vs. 2% among the most adherent.

“Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that particle air pollution caused by fossil fuel combustion adversely affects health by inducing oxidative stress and inflammation,” George Thurston, ScD, department of environmental medicine, New York University School of Medicine, said in the release. “On the other hand, the ozone effect was not significantly blunted by a Mediterranean diet, so ozone apparently affects cardiac health through a different mechanism.” – by Janel Miller

Reference: Lim CC, et al. Air pollution, Mediterranean diet, and cause-specific mortality risk in the NIH-AARP diet and health study. Presented at: American Thoracic Society 2018 International Conference; May 18-23; San Diego.

Disclosures: Healio Family Medicine was unable to determine relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.

 

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