Scientists have established a link between air pollution and hypertension through a study published in the Journal of Public Health.
According to the study scientists suggest that air pollution and living in apartment buildings have a possible link to hypertension heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Researchers investigated the associations between a long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and residential distance to green spaces and major roads with the development of hypertension and some components of metabolic syndrome. These associations were assessed among people living in private houses or multi-story houses in Kaunas City, a city of 280,000 and the second largest city of Lithuania.
Scientists investigated the association between a long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and the residential distance to green spaces and major roads with the development of hypertension and some components of metabolic syndrome. These components included: a high triglyceride level, reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, higher blood glucose, and obesity. The associations were assessed among people who lived in either private or multifamily houses.
The results indicate that air pollution levels above the median are associated with a higher risk of reduced high density lipoprotein. Traffic-related exposure was associated with the incidence of hypertension, higher triglyceride level and reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. However, the negative impact of traffic air pollutants was observed only in the participants who lived in multifamily buildings.
Since there is more traffic near the multifamily apartment buildings, this may be associated with the incidence of hypertension as well. In addition, a built-up environment, high residential density, street traffic and its configurations are further factors associated with social interactions and supportive relationships, which could also impact cardiovascular health.
The greenness, size, and type (activity) of the available open public spaces were observed to be inversely related to the risk factors assessed. Investigators have additionally found positive effects of the natural environment, and have emphasized the positive impact of such spaces on cardiovascular health.
Phyllis Reddon is a general assignment reporter at Rise Media. She has covered sports, entertainment and many other beats in her journalism career, and has lived in New York for more than 6 years. Phyllis has appeared periodically on national television shows and has been published in (among others) Yahoo News,, Politico, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Wired.com, Vice and Salon.com.