Environ Health. 2019 Dec 30 ;18(1):117. Epub 2019 Dec 30. PMID: 31888649
Atrial fibrillation hospitalization is associated with exposure to fine particulate air pollutants.
BACKGROUND: Although air pollutants have been associated with cardiopulmonary mortality, their effects on the occurrence of atrial fibrillation (Afib) remain unclear. This study examined the association between ambient air pollutants and Afib occurrence.METHODS: Using a representative sample from the National Health Insurance Database of Taiwan, we applied a case-crossover study design to explore the associations between air pollutants and patients hospitalized with Afib from 2006 to 2011. The event day was when a patient was hospitalized with Afib, and the control days were the same days of the following weeks of the same month. The association between Afib occurrence and levels of ambient air pollutants (including particulate matter [PM] 2.5 PM, NO, SO, and O) was examined after adjusting for temperature and relative humidity. A two-pollutant model was used to examine the effect of the second pollutant when the first pollutant was determined to be significantly related to Afib.RESULTS: During 2006-2011, 670 patients hospitalized with the first onset of Afib were identified. The occurrence of Afib was associated with PM, in which a 22% (95% confidence interval = 3-44%) increase was related to an interquartile range increase (26.2 μg/m3) on the same day and a 19% (95% confidence interval = 0-40%) increase on the second day. A two-pollutant model was applied, and the results indicated that the effect of PMwas significantly associated with the occurrence of Afib. Patients aged over 65 years with DM and with hyperlipidemia were more susceptible to the effect of PM.CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the occurrence of Afib was associated with short-term exposure to fine particulate air pollutants in the general population.