Background: Many studies have shown a consistent association between ambient air pollution and an increase in death due to cardiovascular causes. An increase in blood pressure is a common risk factor for a variety of cardiovascular diseases. However, the association between air pollution and blood pressure has not been evaluated extensively.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we measured blood pressure in 10 459 subjects who had a health examination from 2001 to 2003, and calculated individual’s exposure to ambient levels of air pollutants. To evaluate the relationship between exposure to air pollutants and blood pressure with respect to season, we performed a multiple regression analysis, separately, according to season, controlling for individual characteristics and meteorological variables.
Results: In the warm-weather season (July–September), particulate air pollutant of <10 μm (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations were significantly associated with measures of blood pressure. During cold weather (October–December), blood pressure was significantly associated with sulphur dioxide (SO2) and ozone (O3) concentrations. The significant association between PM10 or NO2 and blood pressure disappeared during the cold-weather season.
Conclusion: We found a seasonal variation for the association between ambient air-pollutant concentrations and blood pressure.
- PM2.5, particulate air pollutant of <2.5 μm diameter
- PM10, particulate air pollutant of <10 μm diameter
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Funding: This study was supported by Ecotechnopia 21 Project of Ministry of Environment, South Korea.
Competing interests: None declared.
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