Environment International 2021; 148: 106376 -

Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and risk of dementia: Results of the prospective Three-City Study.

Mortamais M, Gutierrez LA, de Hoogh K, Chen J, Vienneau D, Carrière I, Letellier N, Helmer C, Gabelle A, Mura T, Sunyer J, Benmarhnia T, Jacquemin B, Berr C
Emerging epidemiological evidence suggests a relationship between exposure to air pollution and dementia. However, most of the existing studies relied on health administrative databases for the diagnosis of dementia. In a large French population-based cohort (the 3C Study), we assessed the effects of particulate matter ≤2.5 µm (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and black carbon (BC) on the risk of dementia diagnosed with reliable tools. Participants aged ≥65 years were recruited between 1999 and 2001 and followed for 12 years. At baseline and every 2 years, dementia was suspected on the basis of the neuropsychological and neurological examination and confirmed by an independent committee of clinicians. Exposure to NO2, BC and PM2.5 at the participants' residential address was estimated using land use regression models. For each pollutant and year of follow-up, the 10-year moving average of past exposure was estimated. Multilevel spatial random-effects Cox proportional hazards models were used in which exposure was included as a time-varying variable. Analyses were adjusted for individual (age, sex, education, APOE4 genotype, health behaviours) and contextual (neighbourhood deprivation index) confounders. At baseline, the median age of the 7066 participants was 73.4 years, and 62% were women. The median follow-up duration was 10.0 years during which 791 participants developed dementia (n = 541 Alzheimer's disease (AD) and n = 155 vascular/mixed dementia (VaD)). The 10-year moving average of PM2.5 concentrations ranged from 14.6 to 31.3 µg/m3. PM2.5 concentration was positively associated with dementia risk: HR = 1.20, 95% CI (1.08-1.32) for all-cause dementia, 1.20 (1.09-1.32) for AD, and 1.33 (1.05-1.68) for VaD per 5 µg/m3 PM2.5 increase. No association was detected between NO2 or BC exposure and dementia risk. In this large cohort of older adults, long-term PM2.5 exposure was associated with increased dementia incidence. Reducing PM2.5 emissions might lessen the burden of dementia in aging populations. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.