Associations of air pollution exposure with blood pressure and heart rate variability are modified by oxidative stress genes: A repeated-measures panel among elderly urban residents

Kyoung Nam Kim, Jin Hee Kim, Kweon Jung, Yun Chul Hong

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14 Scopus citations


Background: Oxidative stress has been suggested as a major cause of elevated blood pressure (BP) and reduced heart rate variability (HRV) due to air pollution. We hypothesized that the associations of air pollution exposure with BP and HRV are modified by oxidative stress gene polymorphisms. Methods: Between 2008 and 2010, we conducted up to 5 surveys of 547 elderly participants, measured their BP and HRV, and genotyped 47 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 18 oxidative stress genes. Linear mixed models were constructed to evaluate the associations of particulate matter ≤10 μm, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide with BP and HRV, as well as the modifications of these associations by the genotyped SNPs. Results: Single-SNP analyses revealed interactions between air pollution and 15 SNPs (for BP) and 33 SNPs (for HRV) (all, P for interaction < 0.05). When we generated genetic risk scores for BP and HRV, using the SNPs with interactions in the single-SNP models, we found that associations of air pollution exposure with BP and HRV were modified by the genetic risk scores (P for interaction < 0.05). Conclusions: These results strongly suggest that the associations of air pollution with BP and HRV are mediated by oxidative stress pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Article number47
JournalEnvironmental Health: A Global Access Science Source
Issue number1
StatePublished - 25 Mar 2016


  • Air pollution
  • Blood pressure
  • Genetic factors
  • Heart rate variability
  • Oxidative stress

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