The Influence of Nitrogen Dioxide on Arrhythmias in Spain and Its Relationship with Atmospheric Circulation

Autores: Ana Santurtún | Arturo Sanchez-Lorenzo | Alejandro Villar | José A. Riancho | María T. Zarrabeitia

Abstract: Epidemiological studies suggest that increased ambient NO2 concentrations are associated with cardiovascular disease. However, none of them have examined the association between ambient air pollution and cardiac arrhythmias in the general population in Spain. This paper assesses the short-term association between the aforementioned air pollutant and hospital admissions for arrhythmia in nine different regions of Spain during a 6-year period (2005–2010), and the possible season-specific effects of the compound on this pathology, by performing a time-series analysis based on Poisson regression models. The results show statistically significant positive relationship increases between arrhythmia admissions and increments in NO2 concentration during the whole year, most notably in wintertime. Moreover, while trying to establish a threshold for NO2 concentration above which the incidence of arrhythmia episodes increases significantly, this study reveals that hospital admissions increased linearly in response to an increase in as we move to higher NO2 concentration levels. Finally, an analysis of NO2concentrations and their relationship with atmospheric circulation is performed, showing higher values of NO2 under anticyclonic conditions during winter that could be used for implementing pollution level alert protocols depending on forecast circulation patterns.