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Exposure to air pollution near a steel plant is associated with reduced heart rate variability: a randomised crossover study

Overview of attention for article published in Environmental Health, January 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (94th percentile)

Mentioned by

5 news outlets
2 tweeters
1 Facebook page


13 Dimensions

Readers on

57 Mendeley
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Exposure to air pollution near a steel plant is associated with reduced heart rate variability: a randomised crossover study
Published in
Environmental Health, January 2017
DOI 10.1186/s12940-016-0206-0
Pubmed ID

Robin H. Shutt, Lisa Marie Kauri, Scott Weichenthal, Premkumari Kumarathasan, Renaud Vincent, Errol M. Thomson, Ling Liu, Mamun Mahmud, Sabit Cakmak, Robert Dales


Epidemiological studies have shown that as ambient air pollution (AP) increases the risk of cardiovascular mortality also increases. The mechanisms of this effect may be linked to alterations in autonomic nervous system function. We wished to examine the effects of industrial AP on heart rate variability (HRV), a measure of subtle changes in heart rate and rhythm representing autonomic input to the heart. Sixty healthy adults were randomized to spend five consecutive 8-h days outdoors in one of two locations: (1) adjacent to a steel plant in the Bayview neighbourhood in Sault Ste Marie Ontario or (2) at a College campus, several kilometers from the plant. Following a 9-16 day washout period, participants spent five consecutive days at the other site. Ambient AP levels and ambulatory electrocardiogram recordings were collected daily. HRV analysis was undertaken on a segment of the ambulatory ECG recording during a 15 min rest period, near the end of the 8-h on-site day. Standard HRV parameters from both time and frequency domains were measured. Ambient AP was measured with fixed site monitors at both sites. Statistical analysis was completed using mixed-effects models. Compared to the College site, HRV was statistically significantly reduced at the Bayview site by 13% (95%CI 3.6,19.2) for the standard deviation of normal to normal, 8% (95%CI 0.1, 4.9) for the percent normal to normal intervals differing by more than 50 ms, and 15% (95%CI 74.9, 571.2) for low frequency power. Levels of carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and fine and ultrafine particulates were slightly, but statistically significantly, elevated at Bayview when compared to College. Interquartile range changes in individual air pollutants were significantly associated with reductions in HRV measured on the same day. The patterns of effect showed a high degree of consistency, with nearly all pollutants significantly inversely associated with at least one measure of HRV. The significant associations between AP and changes in HRV suggest that ambient AP near a steel plant may impact autonomic nervous system control of the heart.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 2 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 57 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 57 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 10 18%
Researcher 7 12%
Student > Bachelor 6 11%
Other 4 7%
Student > Ph. D. Student 4 7%
Other 11 19%
Unknown 15 26%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 9 16%
Environmental Science 9 16%
Nursing and Health Professions 5 9%
Sports and Recreations 3 5%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 2 4%
Other 10 18%
Unknown 19 33%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 40. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 18 January 2019.
All research outputs
of 14,380,805 outputs
Outputs from Environmental Health
of 1,155 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 349,578 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Environmental Health
of 2 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 14,380,805 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,155 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 25.5. This one has done well, scoring higher than 89% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 349,578 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 2 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them