Ambient air pollution and depressive symptoms in older adults

Results from the MOBILIZE Boston study

​Yi  ​Wang, Melissa N. Eliot, Petros Koutrakis, Alexandros Gryparis, Joel D. Schwartz, Brent A. Coull, Murray A. Mittleman, William P. Milberg, Lewis A. Lipsitz, Gregory A. Wellenius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Exposure to ambient air pollution, particularly from traffic, has been associated with adverse cognitive outcomes, but the association with depressive symptoms remains unclear. Objectives: We investigated the association between exposure to ambient air and traffic pollution and the presence of depressive symptoms among 732 Boston-area adults ≥ 65 years of age (78.1 ± 5.5 years, mean ± SD). Methods: We assessed depressive symptoms during home interviews using the Revised Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CESD-R). We estimated residential distance to the nearest major roadway as a marker of long-term exposure to traffic pollution and assessed short-term exposure to ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5), sulfates, black carbon (BC), ultrafine particles, and gaseous pollutants, averaged over the 2 weeks preceding each assessment. We used generalized estimating equations to estimate the odds ratio (OR) of a CESD-R score ≥ 16 associated with exposure, adjusting for potential confounders. In sensitivity analyses, we considered CESD-R score as a continuous outcome and mean annual residential BC as an alternate marker of long-term exposure to traffic pollution. Results: We found no evidence of a positive association between depressive symptoms and longterm exposure to traffic pollution or short-term changes in pollutant levels. For example, we found an OR of CESD-R score ≥ 16 of 0.67 (95% CI: 0.46, 0.98) per interquartile range (3.4 μg/m3) increase in PM2.5 over the 2 weeks preceding assessment. Conclusions: We found no evidence suggesting that ambient air pollution is associated with depressive symptoms among older adults living in a metropolitan area in attainment of current U.S. regulatory standards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-558
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume122
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

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Air Pollution
Depression
Epidemiologic Studies
Soot
Odds Ratio
Particulate Matter
Sulfates
Interviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this

​Wang, Y., Eliot, M. N., Koutrakis, P., Gryparis, A., Schwartz, J. D., Coull, B. A., ... Wellenius, G. A. (2014). Ambient air pollution and depressive symptoms in older adults: Results from the MOBILIZE Boston study. Environmental Health Perspectives, 122(6), 553-558. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1205909

Ambient air pollution and depressive symptoms in older adults : Results from the MOBILIZE Boston study. / ​Wang, ​Yi ; Eliot, Melissa N.; Koutrakis, Petros; Gryparis, Alexandros; Schwartz, Joel D.; Coull, Brent A.; Mittleman, Murray A.; Milberg, William P.; Lipsitz, Lewis A.; Wellenius, Gregory A.

In: Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 122, No. 6, 01.01.2014, p. 553-558.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

​Wang, Y, Eliot, MN, Koutrakis, P, Gryparis, A, Schwartz, JD, Coull, BA, Mittleman, MA, Milberg, WP, Lipsitz, LA & Wellenius, GA 2014, 'Ambient air pollution and depressive symptoms in older adults: Results from the MOBILIZE Boston study', Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 122, no. 6, pp. 553-558. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1205909
​Wang, ​Yi  ; Eliot, Melissa N. ; Koutrakis, Petros ; Gryparis, Alexandros ; Schwartz, Joel D. ; Coull, Brent A. ; Mittleman, Murray A. ; Milberg, William P. ; Lipsitz, Lewis A. ; Wellenius, Gregory A. / Ambient air pollution and depressive symptoms in older adults : Results from the MOBILIZE Boston study. In: Environmental Health Perspectives. 2014 ; Vol. 122, No. 6. pp. 553-558.
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AU - Koutrakis, Petros

AU - Gryparis, Alexandros

AU - Schwartz, Joel D.

AU - Coull, Brent A.

AU - Mittleman, Murray A.

AU - Milberg, William P.

AU - Lipsitz, Lewis A.

AU - Wellenius, Gregory A.

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N2 - Background: Exposure to ambient air pollution, particularly from traffic, has been associated with adverse cognitive outcomes, but the association with depressive symptoms remains unclear. Objectives: We investigated the association between exposure to ambient air and traffic pollution and the presence of depressive symptoms among 732 Boston-area adults ≥ 65 years of age (78.1 ± 5.5 years, mean ± SD). Methods: We assessed depressive symptoms during home interviews using the Revised Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CESD-R). We estimated residential distance to the nearest major roadway as a marker of long-term exposure to traffic pollution and assessed short-term exposure to ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5), sulfates, black carbon (BC), ultrafine particles, and gaseous pollutants, averaged over the 2 weeks preceding each assessment. We used generalized estimating equations to estimate the odds ratio (OR) of a CESD-R score ≥ 16 associated with exposure, adjusting for potential confounders. In sensitivity analyses, we considered CESD-R score as a continuous outcome and mean annual residential BC as an alternate marker of long-term exposure to traffic pollution. Results: We found no evidence of a positive association between depressive symptoms and longterm exposure to traffic pollution or short-term changes in pollutant levels. For example, we found an OR of CESD-R score ≥ 16 of 0.67 (95% CI: 0.46, 0.98) per interquartile range (3.4 μg/m3) increase in PM2.5 over the 2 weeks preceding assessment. Conclusions: We found no evidence suggesting that ambient air pollution is associated with depressive symptoms among older adults living in a metropolitan area in attainment of current U.S. regulatory standards.

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