Effects of Asian dust-derived particulate matter on ST-elevation myocardial infarction: retrospective, time series study

Suji Lee, Whanhee Lee, Eunil Lee, Myung Ho Jeong, Seung Woon Rha, Chong Jin Kim, Shung Chull Chae, Hyo Soo Kim, Hyeon Cheol Gwon, Ho Kim

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Dust storms affect human health by impairing visibility and promoting interactions with microscopic organisms, such as bacteria and fungi. Although ST-elevation MI (STEMI) and non-ST-elevation MI (NSTEMI) differ mechanistically, few studies have investigated the incidence of cardiovascular diseases according to infarction type; these studies have yielded inconsistent findings. This study aimed to examine whether PM size (< 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and < 10 μm (PM10)) modifies the effect of Asian dust on acute myocardial infarction (AMI), with separate analyses for STEMI and NSTEMI. Methods: MI-related data from 9934 emergency visits were collected from the Korea AMI Registry from 2005 to 2017. Asian dust events were defined as days with visibility of ≤10 km. Generalized linear models were used to analyze data with natural cubic splines. To examine potential modifiers, analyses were stratified by age, smoking status, and body mass index (BMI). Results: No significant associations were observed between Asian dust and AMI. By adjusting for different lag structures, a significant effect was exclusively observed in STEMI. For moving average lags, the largest value at lag 5 (relative risk [RR] 1.083; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.007–1.166) for single and lags 0–7 (RR 1.067; 95% CI: 1.002–1.136) was observed for PM2.5; for PM10, the largest significant effect was observed at lag 4 (RR 1.075; 95% CI: 1.010–1.144) for single and lags 0–7 (RR 1.067; 95% CI: 1.002–1.136). RRs were significantly higher in < 65-year-olds than in ≥65-year-olds. Additionally, RRs between the BMI < 25 and BMI ≥ 25 groups were not different; statistically significant effects were observed for concentration at lags 0–5 (RR: 1.073; 95% CI: 1.002–1.150) and lags 0–6 (RR: 1.071; 95% CI: 1.001–1.146) in the BMI < 25 group. A negative exposure-response association was observed between daily average visibility-adjusted PM and STEMI and daily average visibility-adjusted PM in < 65-year-olds. Conclusions: Reducing PM2.5 and PM10 emissions, particularly during the days of Asian dust, may be crucial and reduce STEMI and AMI incidence among < 65-year-olds. These results indicate that the Asian dust alarm system needs revision to protect vulnerable populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number68
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • Air pollution
  • Asian dust
  • Health effect
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Particulate matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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