Ambient Air Pollution and Depressive Symptoms in Older Adults: Results from the MOBILIZE Boston Study
Eliot, Melissa N.
Schwartz, Joel D.
Milberg, William P.
Wellenius, Gregory A.
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CitationWang, Yi, Melissa N. Eliot, Petros Koutrakis, Alexandros Gryparis, Joel D. Schwartz, Brent A. Coull, Murray A. Mittleman, William P. Milberg, Lewis A. Lipsitz, and Gregory A. Wellenius. 2014. “Ambient Air Pollution and Depressive Symptoms in Older Adults: Results from the MOBILIZE Boston Study.” Environmental Health Perspectives 122 (6): 553-558. doi:10.1289/ehp.1205909. http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1205909.
AbstractBackground: Exposure to ambient air pollution, particularly from traffic, has been associated with adverse cognitive outcomes, but the association with depressive symptoms remains unclear. Objectives: We investigated the association between exposure to ambient air and traffic pollution and the presence of depressive symptoms among 732 Boston-area adults ≥ 65 years of age (78.1 ± 5.5 years, mean ± SD). Methods: We assessed depressive symptoms during home interviews using the Revised Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CESD-R). We estimated residential distance to the nearest major roadway as a marker of long-term exposure to traffic pollution and assessed short-term exposure to ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5), sulfates, black carbon (BC), ultrafine particles, and gaseous pollutants, averaged over the 2 weeks preceding each assessment. We used generalized estimating equations to estimate the odds ratio (OR) of a CESD-R score ≥ 16 associated with exposure, adjusting for potential confounders. In sensitivity analyses, we considered CESD-R score as a continuous outcome and mean annual residential BC as an alternate marker of long-term exposure to traffic pollution. Results: We found no evidence of a positive association between depressive symptoms and long-term exposure to traffic pollution or short-term changes in pollutant levels. For example, we found an OR of CESD-R score ≥ 16 of 0.67 (95% CI: 0.46, 0.98) per interquartile range (3.4 μg/m3) increase in PM2.5 over the 2 weeks preceding assessment. Conclusions: We found no evidence suggesting that ambient air pollution is associated with depressive symptoms among older adults living in a metropolitan area in attainment of current U.S. regulatory standards. Citation: Wang Y, Eliot MN, Koutrakis P, Gryparis A, Schwartz JD, Coull BA, Mittleman MA, Milberg WP, Lipsitz LA, Wellenius GA. 2014. Ambient air pollution and depressive symptoms in older adults: results from the MOBILIZE Boston Study. Environ Health Perspect 122:553–558; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1205909
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