Long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution associated with blood pressure and self-reported hypertension in a Danish cohort
Authors: Sørensen, M; Hoffmann, B; Hvidberg, M; Ketzel, M; Jensen, SS; Andersen, ZJ; Tjønneland, A; Overvad, K; Raaschou-Nielsen, O
Environmental Health Perspectives 120:418-424.
HERO ID: 1065945
BACKGROUND: Short-term exposure to air pollution has been associated with changes in . . .
BACKGROUND: Short-term exposure to air pollution has been associated with changes in blood pressure (BP) and emergency department visits for hypertension, but little is known about the effects of long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution on BP and hypertension.
OBJECTIVES: We studied whether long-term exposure to air pollution is associated with BP and hypertension.
METHODS: In 1993-1997, 57,053 participants 50-64 years of age were enrolled in a population-based cohort study. Systolic and diastolic BP (SBP and DBP, respectively) were measured at enrollment. Self-reported incident hypertension during a mean follow-up of 5.3 years was assessed by questionnaire. We used a validated dispersion model to estimate residential long-term nitrogen oxides (NO(x)), a marker of traffic-related air pollution, for the 1- and 5-year periods prior to enrollment and before a diagnosis of hypertension. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of associations between air pollution and BP at enrollment with linear regression, adjusting for traffic noise, measured short-term NO(x), temperature, relative humidity, and potential lifestyle confounders (n = 44,436). We analyzed incident hypertension with Cox regression, adjusting for traffic noise and potential confounders.
RESULTS: A doubling of NO(x) exposure during 1- and 5-year periods preceding enrollment was associated with 0.53-mmHg decreases [95% confidence interval (CI): -0.88, -0.19 mmHg] and 0.50-mmHg decreases (95% CI: -0.84, -0.16 mmHg) in SBP, respectively. Long-term exposure also was associated with a lower prevalence of baseline self-reported hypertension (per doubling of 5-year mean NO(x): odds ratio = 0.96; 95% CI: 0.91, 1.00), whereas long-term NO(x) exposure was not associated with incident self-reported hypertension during follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS: Long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution was associated with a slightly lower prevalence of BP at baseline, but was not associated with incident hypertension.