HCPLive

Pollutant Exposure Tied to Cognitive Decline in Elderly

Long-term exposure to particulate matter (PM) (coarse PM: 2.5 to 10 µm in diameter [PM2.5-10] and fine PM: <2.5 µm in diameter [PM2.5]) is associated with faster cognitive decline in older women, according to a study published in the Feb. 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Jennifer Weuve, M.P.H., Sc.D., from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues investigated long-term exposure to air pollution with PM2.5-10 and PM2.5 in relation to cognitive decline in a cohort of 19,409 U.S. women aged 70 to 81 years. Exposure to PM was estimated using geographic information system-based spatiotemporal smoothing models, prior to baseline cognitive testing. Cognition was evaluated via validated telephone assessments, administered three times, at approximately two-year intervals.

The investigators found that elevated levels of long-term exposure to PM2.5-10 and PM2.5 correlated with significantly faster cognitive decline. On a global score, two-year decline was 0.020 and 0.018 standard units worse for each 10 µg/m³ increase in exposure to PM2.5-10 and PM2.5, respectively. These differences in the cognitive trajectory were similar to those between women about two years apart in age in the cohort.

"Higher levels of exposure to ambient PM are associated with worse cognitive decline. Importantly, these associations were present at levels of PM exposure typical in many areas of the United States," the authors write. "If our findings are confirmed in other research, air pollution reduction is a potential means for reducing the future population burden of age-related cognitive decline, and eventually, dementia."

Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Long-term exposure to particulate matter (coarse PM: 2.5 to 10 µm in diameter and fine PM: <2.5 µm in diameter) is associated with faster cognitive decline in older women, according to a study published in the Feb. 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Most Popular

Recommended Reading

In a perspectives piece published in the April 2015 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, physicians from Montefiore Medical Center in New York City underscored the importance of removing language barriers.
With the increasing number of patients turning to epidural steroid injections for pain relief, specialists with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Safe Use Initiative gathered specialists to improve the procedure.
To prescribe or not to prescribe? – That is the question that practitioners face regarding antibiotics. While they can be extremely beneficial, the medication proved to be the deadly approach for one patient.
For patients with Alzheimer's Disease, as their condition worsens it often falls on other members of their family to make decisions about their course of treatment. What they are expected to do and how they make certain decisions can have long lasting impacts on the care of the people with the disease.
$vAR$