Online Program

Traffic-related air pollution and sleep: Variations by gender and socioeconomic status

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 9:32 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Shona Fang, ScD, Department of Epidemiology, New England Research Institutes, Inc., Watertown, MA
Joel Schwartz, PhD, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
May Yang, MPH, Department of Epidemiology, New England Research Institutes, Inc., Watertown, MA
Donald Bliwise, PhD, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Klar Yaggi, MD, MPH, School of Medicine, Yale University, Madison, CT
Andre Araujo, PhD, Epidemiology, New England Research Institutes, Watertown, MA
Poor sleep and sleep apnea vary by sociodemographic factors, and are linked with adverse health outcomes. A number of risk factors are known, however little is known about environmental determinants. We investigated the association between black carbon (BC), a marker of traffic-related air pollution, and self-reported sleep duration, sleep latency (time to fall asleep) and sleep apnea risk (Berlin), and how associations vary by gender, race, SES, and health conditions (e.g., diabetes), in a large cohort of men and women who participated in the Boston Area Community Health Survey. Residential 24-hour BC level was estimated from a validated land-use regression model for 3,821 participants up to a year prior to participation and averaged. Linear and logistic regression models controlling for a priori selected confounders, estimated the association between sleep outcomes and BC. Effect modification was tested with interaction terms. Main effects were not observed for any outcome. However, in stratified models, sleep duration (hours) was inversely associated with BC (&mug/m3) in males (&beta=-1.06; 95%CI:-1.97,-0.14; interaction-p<0.01) and in low SES individuals (&beta=-1.17; 95%CI:-2.29,-0.06; interaction-p=0.04). Blacks however showed a positive association between sleep duration and BC (&beta=1.63; 95%CI:0.55,2.71), which persisted when further stratified by gender and SES. There were no significant interactions between BC and season or health conditions for any outcome. BC was not associated with risk of sleep apnea, however findings suggest traffic-related air pollution may be associated with sleep duration, particularly in men and those with low SES. The reasons why particular subgroups may be differentially affected are unclear.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the potential effects of air pollution on sleep outcomes. Identify sub-populations at increased risk of the effects of air pollution on sleep.

Keyword(s): Air Pollutants, Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have authored and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed articles on the health effects of air pollution, including traffic-related air pollution. In addition, I am the recipient of a Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association to investigate long-term health cardiovascular health effects of particulate air pollution. Among my scientific interests is identifying sub-populations vulnerable to the health effects of air pollution and understanding the interplay of SES and the environment on health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.