PLoS One. 2022 Nov 2;17(11):e0276944. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0276944. eCollection 2022.
Long-term exposure to low polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentration may ave detrimental effects, including changing platelet indices. Effects of chronic exposure to low PAH concentrations have been evaluated in cross-sectional, but not in longitudinal studies, to date. We aimed to assess the effects of long-term exposure to the low-concentration PAHs on alterations in platelet indices in the Chinese population. During 2014-2017, we enrolled 222 participants who had lived in a village in northern China, 1-2 km downwind from a coal plant, for more than 25 years, but who were not employed by the plant or related businesses. During three follow-ups, annually in June, demographic information and urine and blood samples were collected. Eight PAHs were tested: namely 2-hydroxynaphthalene, 1-hydroxynaphthalene, 2-hydroxyfluorene, 9-hydroxyfluorene (9-OHFlu), 2-hydroxyphenanthrene (2-OHPh), 1-hydroxyphenanthrene (1-OHPh), 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP), and 3-hydroxybenzo [a] pyrene. Five platelet indices were measured: platelet count (PLT), platelet distribution width (PDW), mean platelet volume (MPV), platelet crit, and the platelet-large cell ratio. Generalized mixed and generalized linear mixed models were used to estimate correlations between eight urinary PAH metabolites and platelet indices. Model 1 assessed whether these correlations varied over time. Models 2 and 3 adjusted for additional personal information and personal habits. We found the following significant correlations: 2-OHPh (Model1 β1 = 18.06, Model2 β2 = 18.54, Model β3 = 18.54), 1-OHPh (β1 = 16.43, β2 = 17.42, β3 = 17.42), 1-OHP(β1 = 13.93, β2 = 14.03, β3 = 14.03) with PLT, as well as 9-OHFlu with PDW and MPV (odds ratio or Model3 ORPDW[95%CI] = 1.64[1.3-2.06], ORMPV[95%CI] = 1.33[1.19-1.48]). Long-term exposure to low concentrations of PAHs, indicated by2-OHPh, 1-OHPh, 1-OHP, and 9-OHFlu, as urinary biomarkers, affects PLT, PDW, and MPV. 9-OHFlu increased both PDW and MPV after elimination of the effects of other PAH exposure modes.