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Association between outdoor particulate air pollution and the risk of osteoporosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J J Liu # 1S B Fu # 1J Jiang 2X L Tang 3

Osteoporos Int. 2021 May 6. doi: 10.1007/s00198-021-05961-z. 


Air pollution is a major threat to global health, which is associated with several adverse health outcomes and increased mortality. Few studies have investigated the association between air pollution and osteoporosis, and their findings were inconclusive. Our objective is to determine whether exposure to outdoor air pollution is causally associated with risk of osteoporosis. A systematic literature search of PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, and Cochrane Library for publications up to December 2020 was conducted for studies reporting the association between air pollution and osteoporosis. Meta-analysis was performed to estimate the pooled effect size of air pollution on osteoporosis using the relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Quality assessment was conducted, and all statistical analyses were performed by RevMan 5.3 software. Our search identified 9 eligible studies involving 9,371,212 patients. Meta-analysis revealed that there was an increased risk of osteoporosis (total body BMD and hip fracture) as a result of exposure to air pollution including PM2.5 and NO2. However, no significant excess risk of osteoporosis was found regardless of PM10, NO, and O3. In spite of a few number of epidemiological studies selected in the present literature review, this study indicated that the increased exposure to air pollutants was positively associated with high risk of osteoporosis. Further cohort studies with large sample sizes are needed to investigate different constituents and the duration of exposure of air pollutants.