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Interactions between cigarette smoking and ambient PM2.5 for cardiovascular mortality

Turner, Michelle C., Cohen, Aaron, Burnett, Richard T., Jerrett, Michael, Diver, W. Ryan, Gapstur, Susan M., Krewski, Daniel, Samet, Jonathan M., Pope, C. Arden
Environmental research 2017 v.154 pp. 304-310
chronic exposure, confidence interval, death, diabetes, lung neoplasms, models, mortality, particulates, public health, relative risk, smoking (habit)
Associations between long-term exposure to ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality are well documented however less is known regarding possible interactions with cigarette smoking. We previously reported a supra-additive synergistic relationship between PM2.5 and cigarette smoking for lung cancer mortality. Here we examine interactions for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality among 429,406 current or never smoking participants in the prospective American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study-II with modeled PM2.5 concentrations. Cox proportional and additive hazards models were used to estimate mortality associations and interactions on the multiplicative and additive scales. A total of 146,495 all-cause and 64,339 cardiovascular (plus diabetes) deaths were observed. The hazard ratio (HR) (95% confidence interval (CI)) for cardiovascular mortality for high vs. low PM2.5 exposure (>14.44µg/m³ vs ≤10.59µg/m³, 75th vs 25th percentile) was 1.09 (95% CI 1.05, 1.12) in never smokers. The HR for cigarette smoking was 1.89 (95% CI 1.82, 1.96) in those with low PM2.5. The HR for both high PM2.5 and cigarette smoking was 2.08 (95% CI 2.00, 2.17). A small significant excess relative risk due to interaction (0.10; 95% CI 0.02, 0.19) was observed. Quantification of the public health burden attributed to the interaction between PM2.5 and cigarette smoking indicated a total of 32 (95% CI −6, 71) additional cardiovascular deaths per 100,000 person-years due to this interaction. In conclusion, PM2.5 was associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in both smokers and never smokers, with some evidence for a small additive interaction with cigarette smoking. Reductions in cigarette smoking will result in the greatest impact on reducing all-cause and cardiovascular death at the levels of PM2.5 observed in this study. However, reductions in PM2.5 will also contribute to preventing a proportion of mortality attributed to cigarette smoking.