The relationship of air pollution and surrogate markers of endothelial dysfunction in a population-based sample of children
Background: This study aimed to assess the relationship of air pollution and plasma surrogate markers of endothelial dysfunction in the pediatric age group. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2009-2010 among 125 participants aged 10-18 years. They were randomly selected from different areas of Isfahan city, the second large and air-polluted city in Iran. The association of air pollutants' levels with serum thrombomodulin (TM) and tissue factor (TF) was determined after adjustment for age, gender, anthropometric measures, dietary and physical activity habits. Results: Data of 118 participants was complete and was analyzed. The mean age was 12.79 (2.35) years. The mean pollution standards index (PSI) value was at moderate level, the mean particular matter measuring up to 10 mu m (PM(10)) was more than twice the normal level. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that TF had significant relationship with all air pollutants except than carbon monoxide, and TM had significant inverse relationship with ozone. The odds ratio of elevated TF was significantly higher in the upper vs. the lowest quartiles of PM(10), ozone and PSI. The corresponding figures were in opposite direction for TM. Conclusions: The relationship of air pollutants with endothelial dysfunction and pro-coagulant state can be an important factor in the development of atherosclerosis from early life. This finding should be confirmed in future longitudinal studies. Concerns about the harmful effects of air pollution on children's health should be considered a top priority for public health policy; it should be underscored in primordial and primary prevention of chronic diseases.