Intermediate- and long-term associations between air pollution and ambient temperature and glycated hemoglobin levels in women of child bearing age

He, Mike Zhongyu; Kloog, Itai; Just, Allan C.; Gutiérrez-Avila, Iván; Colicino, Elena; Téllez-Rojo, Martha M.; Pizano-Zárate, María Luisa; Tamayo-Ortiz, Marcela; Cantoral, Alejandra; Soria-Contreras, Diana C.; Baccarelli, Andrea A.; Wright, Robert O.; Yitshak-Sade, Maayan

Background: Air pollution has been linked to obesity while higher ambient temperatures typically reduce metabolic demand in a compensatory manner. Both relationships may impact glucose metabolism, thus we examined the association between intermediate- and long-term exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ambient temperature and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), a longer-term marker of glucose control.

Methods: We assessed 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month average air pollution and ambient temperature at 1-km2 spatial resolution via satellite remote sensing models (2013–2019), and assessed HbA1c at four, six, and eight years postpartum in women enrolled in the Programming Research in Obesity, Growth, Environment and Social Stressors (PROGRESS) cohort based in Mexico City. PM2.5 and ambient temperature were matched to participants’ addresses and confirmed by GPS tracker. Using linear mixed-effects models, we examined the association between 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month average PM2.5 and ambient temperature with repeated log-transformed HbA1c values. All models included a random intercept for each woman and were adjusted for calendar year, season, and individual-level confounders (age, marital status, smoking, alcohol consumption level, and education level).

Results: We analyzed 1,265 HbA1c measurements of 484 women. Per 1 µg/m3 increase in 3-month and 6-month PM2.5, HbA1c levels increased by 0.28% (95% confidence interval (95 %CI): 0.14, 0.42%) and 0.28% (95 %CI: 0.04, 0.52%) respectively. No association was seen for 12-month average PM2.5. Per 1 °C increase in ambient temperature, HbA1c levels decreased by 0.63% (95 %CI: −1.06, −0.21%) and 0.61% (95 %CI: −1.08, −0.13%), while the 12-month average again is not associated with HbA1c.

Conclusions: Intermediate-term exposure to PM2.5 and ambient temperature are associated with opposing changes in HbA1c levels, in this region of high PM2.5 and moderate temperature fluctuation. These effects, measurable in mid-adult life, may portend future risk of type 2 diabetes and possible heart disease.

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Environment International

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Academic Units
Environmental Health Sciences
Published Here
June 28, 2023