Ambient air pollution, residential traffic noise, and cardiovascular disease in British Columbia

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and accounts for approximately one-third of deaths across BC and Canada. Growing evidence has shown that air pollution and residential traffic noise are associated with cardiovascular disease. Chronic exposure to air pollution may induce and accelerate atherosclerosis, and environmental noise pollution is associated with hypertension. Previous studies have not clarified the independent effects of noise exposure and the joint effects of both ambient air pollution and residential traffic noise on the risk of cardiovascular events. Wenqi Gan is investigating if British Columbians exposed to higher levels of air pollution and residential traffic noise have an increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks, and whether this effect is greater among older age groups and individuals with other existing health conditions. Using air quality monitoring data , calculated environmental noise levels, as well as cardiovascularhospitalization and death records in Metro Vancouver, his study will follow more than half a million residents aged 45-85 over five years. Advanced statistical methods will be used to analyze the relationship between air pollution and noise exposure levels and the risk of cardiovascular events. Gan’s study will help identify the impacts of multiple environmental exposures on the risk of cardiovascular events and will also provide important evidence to support environmental policy making about air pollution, urban design, and transportation planning.