Residential distance to major roadways and cardiac structure in African Americans: Cross-sectional results from the Jackson Heart Study

Anne M. Weaver, Gregory A. Wellenius, Wen Chih Wu, Demarc A. Hickson, Masoor Kamalesh, Yi Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Background: Heart failure (HF) is a significant source of morbidity and mortality among African Americans. Ambient air pollution, including from traffic, is associated with HF, but the mechanisms remain unknown. The objectives of this study were to estimate the cross-sectional associations between residential distance to major roadways with markers of cardiac structure: left ventricular (LV) mass index, LV end-diastolic diameter, LV end-systolic diameter, and LV hypertrophy among African Americans. Methods: We studied baseline participants of the Jackson Heart Study (recruited 2000-2004), a prospective cohort of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among African Americans living in Jackson, Mississippi, USA. All cardiac measures were assessed from echocardiograms. We assessed the associations between residential distance to roads and cardiac structure indicators using multivariable linear regression or multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for potential confounders. Results: Among 4826 participants, residential distance to road was <150 m for 103 participants, 150-299 m for 158, 300-999 for 1156, and ≥1000 m for 3409. Those who lived <150 m from a major road had mean 1.2 mm (95% CI 0.2, 2.1) greater LV diameter at end-systole compared to those who lived ≥1000 m. We did not observe statistically significant associations between distance to roads and LV mass index, LV end-diastolic diameter, or LV hypertrophy. Results did not materially change after additional adjustment for hypertension and diabetes or exclusion of those with CVD at baseline; results strengthened when modeling distance to A1 roads (such as interstate highways) as the exposure of interest. Conclusions: We found that residential distance to roads may be associated with LV end-systolic diameter, a marker of systolic dysfunction, in this cohort of African Americans, suggesting a potential mechanism by which exposure to traffic pollution increases the risk of HF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21
JournalEnvironmental Health: A Global Access Science Source
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 8 2017


  • African Americans
  • Air pollution
  • Cardiac structure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Heart failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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