Sudden Cardiac Death Risk Increased By Proximity To Major Highway

Jaime Hart, ScD Instructor in Medicine Channing Division of Network Interview with:
Jaime Hart, ScD
Instructor in Medicine
Channing Division of Network Medicine

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Response: The main findings are, that among 107,130 women in the Nurses’ Health Study, even after adjusting for a number of traditional cardiovascular risk factors, those women living within 50 meters of a major roadway had a 38% increased risk of sudden cardiac death and 24% increased risk of fatal coronary heart disease, compared to women living 500 meters or more away.

Medical Research: What was most surprising about the results?

Response: The most surprising fact was that, for sudden cardiac death, roadway proximity was as important a risk factor on a population level as classic risk factors such as obesity and smoking.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Clinicians and patients should be aware that for the general population, environmental risk factors, such as roadway proximity, may be under-appreciated risk factors for diseases such as sudden cardiac death and fatal coronary heart disease.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We are really interested in determining what factors of living near a roadway, such as air pollution, are driving these findings.  We also believe that it is very important for researchers to assess the importance of roadway proximity on these outcomes in sudies of men, as well as in populations with different ages, and with a wider array of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity.


Roadway Proximity and Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death in Women
Jaime E. Hart, Stephanie E. Chiuve, Francine Laden, and Christine M. Albert

Circulation. 2014;CIRCULATIONAHA.114.011489published online before print October 13 2014, doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.011489


Last Updated on October 15, 2014 by Marie Benz MD FAAD