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Morishita M, Adar SD, D’Souza J, et al. Effect of Portable Air Filtration Systems on Personal Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter and Blood Pressure Among Residents in a Low-Income Senior Facility: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(10):1350–1357. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.3308
Can portable air filtration systems reduce personal exposures to fine particulate matter air pollution and blood pressure levels among elderly adults living in a typical US urban location?
In this randomized, double-blind crossover intervention study, short-term use of portable air filtration systems reduced personal exposures to fine particulate matter and systolic blood pressure in senior citizens living in a low-income residence.
The use of portable air filtration systems is potentially cardioprotective against exposures to fine particulate matter and warrants further research.
Fine particulate matter (smaller than 2.5 μm) (PM2.5) air pollution is a major global risk factor for cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality. Few studies have tested the benefits of portable air filtration systems in urban settings in the United States.
To investigate the effectiveness of air filtration at reducing personal exposures to PM2.5 and mitigating related CV health effects among older adults in a typical US urban location.
Design, Setting, and Participants
This randomized, double-blind crossover intervention study was conducted from October 21, 2014, through November 4, 2016, in a low-income senior residential building in Detroit, Michigan. Forty nonsmoking older adults were enrolled, with daily CV health outcome and PM2.5 exposure measurements.
Participants were exposed to the following three 3-day scenarios separated by 1-week washout periods: unfiltered air (sham filtration), low-efficiency (LE) high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA)–type filtered air, and high-efficiency (HE) true-HEPA filtered air using filtration systems in their bedroom and living room.
Main Outcomes and Measures
The primary outcome was brachial blood pressure (BP). Secondary outcomes included aortic hemodynamics, pulse-wave velocity, and heart rate variability. Exposures to PM2.5 were measured in the participants’ residences and by personal monitoring.
The 40 participants had a mean (SD) age of 67 (8) years (62% men). Personal PM2.5 exposures were significantly reduced by air filtration from a mean (SD) of 15.5 (10.9) μg/m3 with sham filtration to 10.9 (7.4) μg/m3 with LE fitration and 7.4 (3.3) μg/m3 with HE filtration. Compared with sham filtration, any filtration for 3 days decreased brachial systolic and diastolic BP by 3.2 mm Hg (95% CI, −6.1 to −0.2 mm Hg) and 1.5 mm Hg (95% CI, −3.3 to 0.2 mm Hg), respectively. A continuous decrease occurred in systolic and diastolic BP during the 3-day period of LE filtration, with a mean of 3.4 mm Hg (95% CI, −6.8 to −0.1 mm Hg) and 2.2 mm Hg (95% CI, −4.2 to −0.3 mm Hg), respectively. For HE filtration, systolic and diastolic BP decreased by 2.9 mm Hg (95% CI, −6.2 to 0.5 mm Hg) and 0.8 mm Hg (95% CI, −2.8 to 1.2 mm Hg), respectively. Most secondary outcomes were not significantly improved.
Conclusions and Relevance
Results of this study showed that short-term use of portable air filtration systems reduced personal PM2.5 exposures and systolic BP among older adults living in a typical US urban location. The use of these relatively inexpensive systems is potentially cardioprotective against PM2.5 exposures and warrants further research.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03334565
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