Journal of the American Heart Association. 2019 Dec 3;8(23):e012551.
Background Myocardial infarction exhibits seasonal patterning, with higher amplitude at increased latitude. Epidemiological evidence suggests that sunlight is protective against cardiovascular disease, independent of ambient temperature, but ultraviolet B-mediated vitamin D production has been discounted as causal. We aimed to determine whether ultraviolet A is associated with the seasonal patterning of myocardial infarction.
Methods and Results Routine hospitalization data were used to determine monthly incidence of myocardial infarction in Scotland between 2000 and 2011. Small-area-level aggregated data were obtained on ambient temperature from the Meteorological Office and ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B irradiance from NASA satellites. Autoregressive distributed lag models were run for ultraviolet A and myocardial infarction, including adjustment for ambient temperature and ultraviolet B. Monthly incidence of myocardial infarction displayed winter peaks and summer troughs superimposed on the underlying trend, with a mean amplitude of 0.31 (95% CI: 0.21, 0.41) myocardial infarctions per 100 000 population per month. Ultraviolet A exposure was inversely associated with myocardial infarction independent of ambient temperature (coefficient, -0.05; 95% CI, -0.09, -0.01; P=0.015) and ultraviolet B UVB (coefficient, -0.05; 95% CI, -0.09, -0.02; P=0.004).
Conclusions Further research is required to explore whether an ultraviolet-mediated mechanism different to vitamin D, such as nitric oxide-mediated vasodilatation, may play a causal role in the seasonal and geographical patterning of myocardial infarction.
Professor Jill Pell
Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing and Henry Mechan Professor of Public Health at University of Glasgow
Professor Jill Pell is the Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing and Henry Mechan Professor of Public Health at Glasgow University. She studied medicine at Edinburgh University and...
Professor Chris Dibben
Chair in Geography at The University of Edinburgh
Professor Chris Dibben researches population, health and place with a focus on poverty, deprivation and inequalities; evaluation of area based initiatives; small area statistics; risk,...