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Subclinical responses in healthy cyclists briefly exposed to traffic-related air pollution: an intervention study.

Jacobs L, Nawrot TS, de Geus B, Meeusen R, Degraeuwe B, Bernard A, Sughis M, Nemery B, Panis LI - Environ Health (2010)

Bottom Line: Exhaled nitric oxide (NO), plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6), platelet function, Clara cell protein in serum and blood cell counts were measured before and 30 minutes after exercise.The pre/post-cycling changes in exhaled NO, plasma IL-6, platelet function, serum levels of Clara cell protein and number of total blood leukocytes did not differ significantly between the two scenarios.The health significance of this isolated change is unclear.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Unit of Lung Toxicology, KULeuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.

ABSTRACT

Background: Numerous epidemiological studies have demonstrated adverse health effects of a sedentary life style, on the one hand, and of acute and chronic exposure to traffic-related air pollution, on the other. Because physical exercise augments the amount of inhaled pollutants, it is not clear whether cycling to work in a polluted urban environment should be encouraged or not. To address this conundrum we investigated if a bicycle journey along a busy commuting road would induce changes in biomarkers of pulmonary and systematic inflammation in a group of healthy subjects.

Methods: 38 volunteers (mean age: 43 ± 8.6 years, 26% women) cycled for about 20 minutes in real traffic near a major bypass road (road test; mean UFP exposure: 28,867 particles per cm3) in Antwerp and in a laboratory with filtered air (clean room; mean UFP exposure: 496 particles per cm3). The exercise intensity (heart rate) and duration of cycling were similar for each volunteer in both experiments. Exhaled nitric oxide (NO), plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6), platelet function, Clara cell protein in serum and blood cell counts were measured before and 30 minutes after exercise.

Results: Percentage of blood neutrophils increased significantly more (p = 0.004) after exercise in the road test (3.9%; 95% CI: 1.5 to 6.2%; p = 0.003) than after exercise in the clean room (0.2%; 95% CI: -1.8 to 2.2%, p = 0.83). The pre/post-cycling changes in exhaled NO, plasma IL-6, platelet function, serum levels of Clara cell protein and number of total blood leukocytes did not differ significantly between the two scenarios.

Conclusions: Traffic-related exposure to particles during exercise caused a small increase in the distribution of inflammatory blood cells in healthy subjects. The health significance of this isolated change is unclear.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

UFP and PM2.5 concentrations. UFP (bottom) and PM2.5 (top) concentrations on days of the study period during the road test (left) and in the clean room (right).
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Figure 1: UFP and PM2.5 concentrations. UFP (bottom) and PM2.5 (top) concentrations on days of the study period during the road test (left) and in the clean room (right).

Mentions: The average concentrations of particles to which the participants were exposed, during the road test and in the clean room are given in table 2. By design, concentrations of particles were higher during the road test (Figure 1). Average temperature was higher and relative humidity was lower in the clean room. By design the duration of cycling and the heart rate did not differ between the two exposure scenarios (road test and clean room) (Table 2).


Subclinical responses in healthy cyclists briefly exposed to traffic-related air pollution: an intervention study.

Jacobs L, Nawrot TS, de Geus B, Meeusen R, Degraeuwe B, Bernard A, Sughis M, Nemery B, Panis LI - Environ Health (2010)

UFP and PM2.5 concentrations. UFP (bottom) and PM2.5 (top) concentrations on days of the study period during the road test (left) and in the clean room (right).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2984475&req=5

Figure 1: UFP and PM2.5 concentrations. UFP (bottom) and PM2.5 (top) concentrations on days of the study period during the road test (left) and in the clean room (right).
Mentions: The average concentrations of particles to which the participants were exposed, during the road test and in the clean room are given in table 2. By design, concentrations of particles were higher during the road test (Figure 1). Average temperature was higher and relative humidity was lower in the clean room. By design the duration of cycling and the heart rate did not differ between the two exposure scenarios (road test and clean room) (Table 2).

Bottom Line: Exhaled nitric oxide (NO), plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6), platelet function, Clara cell protein in serum and blood cell counts were measured before and 30 minutes after exercise.The pre/post-cycling changes in exhaled NO, plasma IL-6, platelet function, serum levels of Clara cell protein and number of total blood leukocytes did not differ significantly between the two scenarios.The health significance of this isolated change is unclear.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Unit of Lung Toxicology, KULeuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.

ABSTRACT

Background: Numerous epidemiological studies have demonstrated adverse health effects of a sedentary life style, on the one hand, and of acute and chronic exposure to traffic-related air pollution, on the other. Because physical exercise augments the amount of inhaled pollutants, it is not clear whether cycling to work in a polluted urban environment should be encouraged or not. To address this conundrum we investigated if a bicycle journey along a busy commuting road would induce changes in biomarkers of pulmonary and systematic inflammation in a group of healthy subjects.

Methods: 38 volunteers (mean age: 43 ± 8.6 years, 26% women) cycled for about 20 minutes in real traffic near a major bypass road (road test; mean UFP exposure: 28,867 particles per cm3) in Antwerp and in a laboratory with filtered air (clean room; mean UFP exposure: 496 particles per cm3). The exercise intensity (heart rate) and duration of cycling were similar for each volunteer in both experiments. Exhaled nitric oxide (NO), plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6), platelet function, Clara cell protein in serum and blood cell counts were measured before and 30 minutes after exercise.

Results: Percentage of blood neutrophils increased significantly more (p = 0.004) after exercise in the road test (3.9%; 95% CI: 1.5 to 6.2%; p = 0.003) than after exercise in the clean room (0.2%; 95% CI: -1.8 to 2.2%, p = 0.83). The pre/post-cycling changes in exhaled NO, plasma IL-6, platelet function, serum levels of Clara cell protein and number of total blood leukocytes did not differ significantly between the two scenarios.

Conclusions: Traffic-related exposure to particles during exercise caused a small increase in the distribution of inflammatory blood cells in healthy subjects. The health significance of this isolated change is unclear.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus