A team led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Spain is the first to explore the association between ambient and household air pollution, and carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) a marker of atherosclerosis or thickening of arteries in a population of a low-and-middle income country.
The study, performed in a periurban area in Hyderabad, Telangana, shows that people most exposed to fine particles have a higher CIMT index, which means they are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as stroke or heart attack.
The study, published in International Journal of Epidemiology, was performed with 3,372 participants. The team measured CIMT and estimated exposure to air pollution using an algorithm called land use regression (LUR), which is frequently used to predict the amount of fine particles suspended particles with a diameter under 2.5 micrometres in high-income countries.
The participants also provided information on the type of cooking fuel they used. The results show that high annual exposure to ambient fine particles was associated with a higher CIMT, particularly in men, participants above 40 years of age, or those with cardiometabolic risk factors, the researchers said.