Background: This study was performed to clarify variations in breath isoprene concentrations with age, gender, body mass index (BMI) and total serum cholesterol. Our cohort consisted of 205 adult volunteers of different smoking background without health complaints. Total cholesterol in blood serum was measured in 79 of these volunteers.
Methods: Mixed expiratory exhaled breath was sampled using Tedlar bags. Concentrations of isoprene were then determined using proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometry.
Results: Isoprene concentrations ranged from 5.8 to 274.9 ppb, with an overall geometric mean (GM) of 99.3 ppb. There was no statistically significant difference in mean isoprene in breath between males and females (GM 105.4 and 95.5 ppb, respectively). Ageing led to a decrease in concentration in men, with an estimated slope of the regression line for log-transformed isoprene concentrations of –0.0049, but did not influence isoprene levels in women. We did not observe any significant correlation between isoprene breath content and cholesterol level in blood, even after adjusting for the possible influence of age. Similarly, no correlation was found between isoprene levels and BMI.
Conclusions: Isoprene concentrations in exhaled breath showed gender-specific correlations with respect to age. Further investigations are necessary to clarify the relation between isoprene concentrations in exhaled breath and cholesterol levels and synthesis rates in blood.
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