Association between long-term air pollution and increased blood pressure and hypertension in China

Guang Hui Dong, Zhengmin Min Qian, Pamela K. Xaverius, Edwin Trevathan, Salwa Maalouf, Jamaal Parker, Laiji Yang, Miao Miao Liu, Da Wang, Wan Hui Ren, Wenjun Ma, Jing Wang, Alan Zelicoff, Qiang Fu, Maayan Simckes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Scopus citations


Several studies have investigated the short-term effects of ambient air pollutants in the development of high blood pressure and hypertension. However, little information exists regarding the health effects of long-term exposure. To investigate the association between residential long-term exposure to air pollution and blood pressure and hypertension, we studied 24 845 Chinese adults in 11 districts of 3 northeastern cities from 2009 to 2010. Three-year average concentration of particles with an aerodynamic diameter ≤10 μm (PM 10), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxides (NO 2), and ozone (O3) were calculated from monitoring stations in the 11 districts. We used generalized additive models and 2-level logistic regressions models to examine the health effects. The results showed that the odds ratio for hypertension increased by 1.12 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08-1.16) per 19 μg/m3 increase in PM10, 1.11 (95% CI, 1.04-1.18) per 20 μg/m3 increase in SO2, and 1.13 (95% CI, 1.06-1.20) per 22 μg/m3 increase in O3. The estimated increases in mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure were 0.87 mm Hg (95% CI, 0.48-1.27) and 0.32 mm Hg (95% CI, 0.08-0.56) per 19 μg/m 3 interquartile increase in PM10, 0.80 mm Hg (95% CI, 0.46-1.14) and 0.31 mm Hg (95% CI, 0.10-0.51) per 20 μg/m3 interquartile increase in SO2, and 0.73 mm Hg (95% CI, 0.35-1.11) and 0.37 mm Hg (95% CI, 0.14-0.61) per 22 μg/m3 interquartile increase in O3. These associations were only statistically significant in men. In conclusion, long-term exposure to PM10, SO2, and O3 was associated with increased arterial blood pressure and hypertension in the study population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-584
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine


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