Long-Term Air Pollution Exposure Tied to More Diagnostic Testing in Heart Failure

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Exposure associated with increased performance of glycosylated hemoglobin tests, prothrombin time tests, stress tests

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 5, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Long-term exposure to fine airborne particles <2.5 μm in diameter (PM₂.₅) is associated with an increased need for diagnostic testing on heart failure patients, according to a study published online May 3 in PLOS ONE.

Samantha Catalano, from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues investigated the associations between annual average PM₂.₅ and hospital procedures among individuals with heart failure. The analysis included 15,979 heart failure patients in the University of North Carolina Healthcare System who had at least one of 53 common procedures from 2004 to 2016.

The researchers found that a 1-μg/m3 increase in annual average PM₂.₅ was associated with increased glycosylated hemoglobin tests (10.8 percent), prothrombin time tests (15.8 percent), and stress tests (6.84 percent). Results were similar under multiple sensitivity analyses.

“Heart failure patients presented a unique patient group to examine this important question, as they have both increased environmental sensitivity and high rates of hospital utilization,” the authors write. “This study adds to the field by quantifying PM₂.₅ impacts on performed hospital procedures, thereby allowing researchers to better understand air pollution health effects and helping to provide key information needed to estimate the total burden of PM₂.₅ on both patients and hospital systems.”

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