Cardiopulmonary benefits of reducing indoor particles of outdoor origin: a randomized, double-blind crossover trial of air purifiers.
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BACKGROUND: Indoor exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from outdoor sources is a major health concern, especially in highly polluted developing countries such as China. Few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of indoor air purification on the improvement of cardiopulmonary health in these areas. OBJECTIVES: This study sought to evaluate whether a short-term indoor air purifier intervention improves cardiopulmonary health. METHODS: We conducted a randomized, double-blind crossover trial among 35 healthy college students in Shanghai, China, in 2014. These students lived in dormitories that were randomized into 2 groups and alternated the use of true or sham air purifiers for 48 h with a 2-week washout interval. We measured 14 circulating biomarkers of inflammation, coagulation, and vasoconstriction; lung function; blood pressure (BP); and fractional exhaled nitric. We applied linear mixed-effect models to evaluate the effect of the intervention on health outcome variables. RESULTS: On average, air purification resulted in a 57% reduction in PM2.5 concentration, from 96.2 to 41.3 g/m3, within hours of operation. Air purification was significantly associated with decreases in geometric means of several circulating inflammatory and thrombogenic biomarkers, including 17.5% in monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, 68.1% in interleukin-1, 32.8% in myeloperoxidase, and 64.9% in soluble CD40 ligand. Furthermore, systolic BP, diastolic BP, and fractional exhaled nitrous oxide were significantly decreased by 2.7%, 4.8%, and 17.0% in geometric mean, respectively. The impacts on lung function and vasoconstriction biomarkers were beneficial but not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: This intervention study demonstrated clear cardiopulmonary benefits of indoor air purification among young, healthy adults in a Chinese city with severe ambient particulate air pollution. (Intervention Study on the Health Impact of Air Filters in Chinese Adults; NCT02239744).