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Traffic-related air pollutants increase the risk for age-related macular degeneration


The aim of this study was to investigate whether ambient nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) increase the risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is a longitudinal population-based study using the data on Taiwan National Health Insurance Program between year 2000 and 2010. From the nationwide dataset, we enrolled subjects aged 50 or older and the annually total NO2 and CO exposure was calculated from 1998 to 2010 for each subject. The Cox proportional hazard regression was used to estimate the HRs with adjustment for other variables. A total of 39,819 AMD-free residents were enrolled, and 1442 participants developed AMD during the 11 -year follow-up. Compared with the lowest exposure quartile, the highest quartile of each air pollutant was associated with an increased risk for AMD. The adjusted HR was 1.91 (95% CI 1.64 to 2.23, p<0.001) for the highest NO2 quartile, and was 1.84 (95% CI 1.5 to 2.15, p<0.001) for the highest CO quartile. In this study, chronic exposure to the highest quartile of ambient NO2 or CO significantly increases the risk for AMD.

  • traffic-related pollutants
  • nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
  • carbon monoxide (CO)
  • age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

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