2016-09-17

New publication using the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP) Nitrogen dioxide pollution exposure is associated with olfactory dysfunction in older U.S. adults

New publication using the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP)
Nitrogen dioxide pollution exposure is associated with olfactory dysfunction in older U.S. adults
Authors
Dara R. Adams BA, Gaurav S. Ajmani MHS, Vivian C. Pun PhD, Kristen E. Wroblewski MS, David W. Kern PhD, L. Philip Schumm MA, Martha K. McClintock PhD, Helen H. Suh PhD, Jayant M. Pinto MD
International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology

First published: 13 September 2016
DOI: 10.1002/alr.21829
Funding sources for the study: NIH (National Institute on Aging [NIA] AG029795, AG030481, AG036762, AG033903, AG021487; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases [NIAID] AI106683; National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences [NIEHS] ES022657, ES019168. DRA was supported by a Pritzker Fellowship from the Pritzker School of Medicine at The University of Chicago.
Abstract
Background: Olfactory dysfunction has profound effects on quality of life, physical and social function, and mortality itself. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a pervasive air pollutant that is associated with respiratory diseases. Given the olfactory nerve's anatomic exposure to airborne pollutants, we investigated the relationship between NO2 exposure and olfactory dysfunction.
Methods: The ability to identify odors was evaluated using a validated test in respondents from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), a representative probability sample of home-dwelling, older U.S. adults age 57 to 85 years. Exposure to NO2 pollution was assessed using measurements obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Aerometric Information Retrieval System (AIRS) ambient monitoring site closest to each respondent's home. We tested the association between NO2 exposure and olfactory dysfunction using multivariate logistic regression.
Results: Among older adults in the United States, 22.6% had impaired olfactory function, defined as ≤3 correct (out of 5) on the odor identification test. Median NO2 exposure during the 365 days prior to the interview date was 14.7 ppb (interquartile range [IQR], 10.8 to 19.7 ppb). An IQR increase in NO2 exposure was associated with increased odds of olfactory dysfunction (OR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.72), adjusting for age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, cognition, comorbidity, smoking, and season of the home interview (n = 1823).
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The National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP) data is available from NACDA:
Wave 1: Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR20541.v6
Wave 2: Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34921.v1