Investigations of PM2.5 Long-term Exposure and Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Women: An Overview

Lei Zhu, Samar R. El Khoudary, Jennifer Adibi, Ada O. Youk and Evelyn O. Talbott*

Investigations of PM2.5 Long-term Exposure and Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Women: An Overview.

As summarized above, the only work assessing menopausal status’s effect on PM2.5 exposure
and CAC presence association considered baseline menopausal status cross-sectionally. They did not have further data available to explore the potential physiological changes occurring before or
around menopause. This limited their ability to evaluate further on how menopausal status change may affect the association between PM2.5 exposure and CAC. The cross-sectional approach cannot
take into consideration the heterogeneity of the changes occurring in women transitioning through menopause. Longitudinal analyses will be needed to explore the potential effect modification and their roles affecting the association between PM2.5 exposure and development of CAC. Measuring and modeling the association with repeated measures of covariates’ variables in a longitudinal framework

Along general pathways described above on how PM2.5 exposure might contribute to adverse cardiovascular changes and increase CVD risk, there is evidence supporting a connection between PM2.5 exposure and increases in inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP), plasminogen activator inhibitor Type 1 (PAI-1) and homocysteine among midlife women.

Previous studies on the biological changes occurring among women, which may affect their cardiovascular health during midlife, may provide support for further work in this area. A study
using both the Healthy Women Study cohort and the Women’s Healthy Lifestyle Project cohort reported that hormone-regulated changes, which commonly occur during menopausal transition,
could potentially increase CVD risk and progression of subclinical disease. This overview considers the extent to which gender and specifically postmenopausal.

Epidemiol Open J. 2022; 7(1): 22-37. doi: 10.17140/EPOJ-7-129