The Atlanta Commuter's Exposure (ACE) Study was established to examine the particulate and gas phase pollutants that commuters are exposed to, as well as the associated health endpoints. In this paper the association between heart rate variability (HRV) and exposure to traffic related air pollution is examined, including an examination of interaction by several different covariates of interest. The ACE study is a panel study of 42 non-smoking study participants, 21 clinically diagnosed asthmatics and 21 non-asthmatics. Heart rate variability was measured before, immediately after, 1, 2 and 3 hours after a 2 hour scripted commute on a highway around Atlanta during the morning rush hour. Measurements of HRV were altered in the time point immediately after the commute, including a statistically significant decrease in SDNN and r-MSSD and a significant increase in LF/HF. A priori covariates of interest, based on a review of the literature on heart rate variability and traffic related air pollution, were examined, including age, sex, baseline FEV1, BMI, day of the week of the commute, season of the commute, noise level, and change in cortisol from baseline. The primary explanatory variable for the heterogeneity of response is asthma status. Participants with asthma had a larger response to the commute exposure in each endpoint. The results also suggest modification by sex, age, baseline FEV1, BMI, day of the week, noise and cortisol change. Even with modification by each of these factors, however, the general trends in the data persist, a sharp change in HRV immediately after the commute that goes back towards the baseline measurement at each subsequent time point.
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About this Master's Thesis
|Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor|
|Examination of factors influencing the heterogeneity in response of heart rate variability to exposure to traffic related air pollution in the Atlanta Commuter's Exposure Study ()||2018-08-28||