The Association between Exposure to Residential Indoor Volatile Organic Compounds and Measures of Central Arterial Stiffness in Healthy Middle-Aged Men and Women
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It is well reported that individuals spend up to 90% of their daily time indoors, with between 60% to 90% of this time being spent in the home. Using a cross-sectional study design in a population of 111 healthy adults (mean age: 52.3 ± 9.9 years; 65% women), we investigated the association between exposure to total volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in indoor residential environments and measures of central arterial stiffness, known to be related to cardiovascular risk. Indoor VOC concentrations were measured along with ambulatory measures of pulse pressure (cPP), augmentation index (cAIx) and cAIx normalized for heart rate (cAIx75 ), over a continuous 24-h period. Pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) was determined during clinical assessment. Multiple regression analysis was performed to examine the relationship between measures of arterial stiffness and VOCs after adjusting for covariates. Higher 24-h, daytime and night-time cAIx was associated with an interquartile range increase in VOCs. Similar effects were shown with cAIx75 . No significant effects were observed between exposure to VOCs and cPP or cfPWV. After stratifying for sex and age (≤50 years; >50 years), effect estimates were observed to be greater and significant for 24-h and daytime cAIx in men, when compared to women. No significant effect differences were seen between age groups with any measure of arterial stiffness. In this study, we demonstrated that residential indoor VOCs exposure was adversely associated with some measures of central arterial stiffness, and effects were different between men and women. Although mechanistic pathways remain unclear, these findings provide a possible link between domestic VOCs exposure and unfavourable impacts on individual-level cardiovascular disease risk.
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