Residential Proximity to Major Roads, Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter, and Coronary Artery Calcium

Kirsten S. Dorans, Elissa H. Wilker, Wenyuan Li, Mary B. Rice, Petter L. Ljungman, Joel Schwartz, Brent A. Coull, Itai Kloog, Petros Koutrakis, Ralph B. D'Agostino, Joseph M. Massaro, Udo Hoffmann, Christopher J. O'Donnell, Murray A. Mittleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective - Long-term exposure to traffic and particulate matter air pollution is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, potentially via atherosclerosis promotion. Prior research on associations of traffic and particulate matter with coronary artery calcium Agatston score (CAC), an atherosclerosis correlate, has yielded inconsistent findings. Given this background, we assessed whether residential proximity to major roadway or fine particulate matter were associated with CAC in a Northeastern US study. Approach and Results - We measured CAC ≤2 times from 2002 to 2005 and 2008 to 2011 among Framingham Offspring or Third-Generation Cohort participants. We assessed associations of residential distance to major roadway and residential fine particulate matter (2003 average; spatiotemporal model) with detectable CAC, using generalized estimating equation regression. We used linear mixed effects models to assess associations with log e (CAC). We also assessed associations with CAC progression. Models were adjusted for demographic variables, socioeconomic position markers, and time. Among 3399 participants, 51% had CAC measured twice. CAC was detectable in 47% of observations. At first scan, mean age was 52.2 years (standard deviation 11.7); 51% male. There were no consistent associations with detectable CAC, continuous CAC, or CAC progression. We observed heterogeneous associations of distance to major roadway with odds of detectable CAC by hypertensive status; interpretation of these findings is questionable. Conclusions - Our findings add to prior work and support evidence against strong associations of traffic or fine particulate matter with the presence, extent, or progression of CAC in a region with relatively low levels of and little variation in fine particulate matter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1679-1685
Number of pages7
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • air pollution
  • atherosclerosis
  • coronary artery calcium
  • epidemiology
  • multidetector computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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