Outdoor light at night and risk of coronary heart disease among older adults: a prospective cohort study.
We estimated the association between outdoor light at night at the residence and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) within a prospective cohort of older adults in Hong Kong.Over a median of 11 years of follow-up, we identified 3772 incident CHD hospitalizations and 1695 CHD deaths. Annual levels of outdoor light at night at participants’ residential addresses were estimated using time-varying satellite data for a composite of persistent night-time illumination at ∼1 km2 scale. We used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of the association between outdoor light at night at the residence and risk of CHD. The association between light at night and incident CHD hospitalization and mortality exhibited a monotonic exposure-response function. An interquartile range (IQR) (60.0 nW/cm2/sr) increase in outdoor light at night was associated with an HR of 1.11 (95% CI: 1.03, 1.18) for CHD hospitalizations and 1.10 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.22) for CHD deaths after adjusting for both individual and area-level risk factors. The association did not vary across strata of hypothesized risk factors.Among older adults, outdoor light at night at the residence was associated with a higher risk of CHD hospitalizations and deaths. We caution against causal interpretation of these novel findings. Future studies with more detailed information on exposure, individual adaptive behaviours, and potential mediators are warranted to further examine the relationship between light at night and CHD risk.