Air pollutants and osteoporosis risk



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Air pollutants and osteoporosis risk

Osteoporosis is generally considered a bone pathology, but according to some it would be a paraphysiological process in the elderly, the presence of which predisposes to a greater development of pathological fractures, a consequent decrease in the quality and expectancy of life and of complications due to fractures, if not adequately treated.

Because it is too easily considered a disease, the British Medical Journal has included it in a list of non-diseases. The study Association of air pollutants and osteoporosis risk: The modifying effect of genetic predisposition, published on the Environment international, told us: "Limited studies have examined the association between air pollutants and osteoporosis incidence; however, the results are conflicting.

We aimed to quantify the effects of selected air pollutants on osteoporosis risk and explore the modifying effect of genetic predisposition. Methods: A total of 422,955 subjects who did not have osteoporosis at baseline in the UK Biobank were included from 2006 to 2010.

We conducted a Cox proportional hazards model with adjustment for covariates to examine the association between air pollutant scores and individual air pollutants and incident osteoporosis. Furthermore, a polygenic risk score (PRS) of osteoporosis was built and examined to determine whether genetic susceptibility modified the effect of air pollutants on osteoporosis.

The relationship between air pollutants and osteoporosis was examined by using a restricted cubic spline (RCS) method. Results: After confounder adjustment, the results showed a remarkable increase in the risk of osteoporosis with each 10 unit increase in exposure to air pollution (hazard ratio: 1.06, 95 % confidence interval: 1.03-1.08), PM2.5 (1.94, 1.52 -2.48), NO2 (1.06, 1.02-1.10), and NOX (1.03, 1.01-1.04).

However, no significant association was observed between PM10 or PM2.5-10 exposure and osteoporosis. Subjects with high air pollutant exposure levels and a high PRS had a noteworthy increase in osteoporosis risk compared to those with low air pollutant exposure levels and a low PRS.

Air pollutants and genetic variants exerted additive effects on the risk of osteoporosis. Positive correlations were observed between osteoporosis and PM2.5 (P < 0.001), NO2 (P = 0.001), and NOx (P = 0.002) exposure. Conclusions: Exposure to PM2.5, NO2 and NOx was associated with an increase in osteoporosis risk, and this effect was more pronounced in populations with high genetic risk.

The association between PM2.5, NO2 and NOx exposure and osteoporosis is modified by genetic variations."