Air pollution is associated with cognitive deterioration of Alzheimer's disease. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Air Pollution Is Associated with Cognitive Deterioration of Alzheimer's Disease.
Gerontology. 2021 Apr 21:1-9. Epub 2021 Apr 21. PMID: 33882496
Feng Cheng Lin
INTRODUCTION: Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide. Alz-heimer's disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia among the elderly, has great impact on the health-care system of developed nations. Several risk factors are suggestive of an increased risk of AD, including APOE-ε4, male, age, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and low social engagement. However, data on risk factors of AD progression are limited. Air pollution is revealed to be associated with increasing dementia incidence, but the relationship between air pollution and clinical AD cognitive deterioration is unclear.
METHODS: We conducted a case-control and city-to-city study to compare the progression of AD patients in different level of air-polluted cities. Clinical data of a total of 704 AD patients were retrospectively collected, 584 residences in Kaohsiung and 120 residences in Pingtung between 2002 and 2018. An annual interview was performed with each patient, and the Clinical Dementia Rating score (0 [normal] to 3 [severe stage]) was used to evaluate their cognitive deterioration. Air pollution data of Kaohsiung and Pingtung city for 2002-2018 were retrieved from Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration. Annual Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) and concentrations of particulate matter (PM10), sulfur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and carbon monoxide (CO) were obtained.
RESULTS: The PSI was higher in Kaohsiung and compared with Pingtung patients, Kaohsiung patients were exposed to higher average annual concentrations of CO, NO2, PM10, and SO2. AD patients living in Kaohsiung suffered from faster cognitive deterioration in comparison with Pingtung patients (log-rank test: p = 0.016). When using multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis, higher levels of CO, NO2, PM10, and SO2 exposure were associated with increased risk of AD cognitive deterioration. Among all these air pollutants, high SO2 exposure has the greatest impact while O3 has a neutral effect on AD cognitive deterioration.
CONCLUSIONS: Air pollution is an environment-related risk factor that can be controlled and is associated with cognitive deterioration of AD. This finding could contribute to the implementation of public intervention strategies of AD.