Short-term exposure to desert dust and the risk of acute myocardial infarction in Japan: a time-stratified case-crossover study

JROAD Investigators

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Particulate matter from natural sources such as desert dust causes harmful effects for health. Asian dust (AD) increases the risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). However, little is known about the risk of myocardial infarction with nonobstructive coronary arteries (MINOCA), compared to myocardial infarction with coronary artery disease (MI-CAD). Using a time-stratified case-crossover design and conditional logistic regression models, the association between short-term exposure to AD whereby decreased visibility (< 10 km) observed at each monitoring station nearest to the hospitals was used for exposure measurements and admission for AMI in the spring was investigated using a nationwide administrative database between April 2012 and March 2016. According to presence of revascularization and coronary atherosclerosis, AMI patients (n = 30,435) were divided into 2 subtypes: MI-CAD (n = 27,202) or MINOCA (n = 3233). The single lag day-2 was used in AD exposure based on the lag effect analysis. The average level of meteorological variables and co-pollutants on the 3 days prior to the case/control days were used as covariates. The occurrence of AD events 2 days before the admission was associated with admission for MINOCA after adjustment for meteorological variables [odds ratio 1.65; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.18–2.29], while the association was not observed in MI-CAD. The absolute risk difference of MINOCA admission was 1.79 (95% CI 1.21–2.38) per 100,000 person-year. These associations between AD exposure and the admission for MINOCA remained unchanged in two-pollutant models. This study provides evidence that short-term exposure to AD is associated with a higher risk of MINOCA, but not MI-CAD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-464
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 1


  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • Air pollution
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Desert dust
  • Environmental factors


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