Ambient Air Pollution and 16-Year Weight Change in African-American Women.


The results do not provide support for an association of air pollution with weight gain in African-American adult women.

Substantial research has been dedicated to understanding the reasons for the dramatic rise in obesity rates in the U.S. in the last 2 decades. Animal studies and epidemiologic studies in children have suggested that air pollution might contribute to weight gain. This study investigates the association between ambient air pollution and weight gain over 16 years of follow-up (1995-2011) in a large cohort of African-American women in the U.S.

This study assessed associations of fine particulate matter, ozone, and nitrogen dioxide with weight gain using a linear random effects model. All analyses were conducted in 2015.

There was no statistically significant association between weight change and fine particulate matter (mean weight change over 16 years per interquartile range [2.9 μg/m(3)], 0.12 kg; 95% CI=-0.10, 0.35) and ozone (0.16 kg per interquartile range [6.7 ppb]; 95% CI=-0.11, 0.43). There was a small decrease in weight associated with nitrogen dioxide (-0.50 per interquartile range [9.7 ppb]; 95% CI=-0.77, -0.23).

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