Systemic inflammation (C-reactive protein) in older chinese adults is associated with long-term exposure to ambient air pollution

Mona Elbarbary, Artem Oganesyan, Trenton Honda, Geoffrey Morgan, Yuming Guo, Yanfei Guo, Joel Negin

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4 Citations (Scopus)


There is an established association between air pollution and cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is likely to be mediated by systemic inflammation. The present study evaluated links between long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and high-sensitivity C reactive protein (hs-CRP) in an older Chinese adult cohort (n = 7915) enrolled in the World Health Organization (WHO) study on global aging and adult health (SAGE) China Wave 1 in 2008–2010. Multilevel linear and logistic regression models were used to assess the associations of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2 ) on log-transformed hs-CRP levels and odds ratios of CVD risk derived from CRP levels adjusted for confounders. A satellite-based spatial statistical model was applied to estimate the average community exposure to outdoor air pollutants (PM with an aerodynamic diameter of 10 µm or less (PM10 ), 2.5 µm or less (PM2.5 ), and 1 µm or less (PM1 ) and NO2 ) for each participant of the study. hs-CRP levels were drawn from dried blood spots of each participant. Each 10 µg/m3 increment in PM10, PM2.5, PM1, and NO2 was associated with 12.8% (95% confidence interval; (CI): 9.1, 16.6), 15.7% (95% CI: 10.9, 20.8), 10.2% (95% CI: 7.3, 13.2), and 11.8% (95% CI: 7.9, 15.8) higher serum levels of hs-CRP, respectively. Our findings suggest that air pollution may be an important factor in increasing systemic inflammation in older Chinese adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3258
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2021


  • Air pollution
  • C-reactive protein
  • China
  • CVD risk
  • Elderly
  • Inflammatory marker

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