Short-term Air Pollution Levels and Blood Pressure in Older Women

Tong Wen, Duanping Liao, Gregory A. Wellenius, Eric A. Whitsel, Helene G. Margolis, Lesley F. Tinker, James D. Stewart, Lan Kong, Jeff D. Yanosky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Evidence of associations between daily variation in air pollution and blood pressure (BP) is varied and few prior longitudinal studies adjusted for calendar time. Methods: We studied 143,658 postmenopausal women 50 to 79 years of age from the Women's Health Initiative (1993-2005). We estimated daily atmospheric particulate matter (PM) (in three size fractions: PM2.5, PM2.5-10, and PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations at participants' residential addresses using validated lognormal kriging models. We used linear mixed-effects models to estimate the association between air pollution concentrations and repeated measures of systolic and diastolic BP (SBP, DBP) adjusting for confounders and calendar time. Results: Short-term PM2.5and NO2were each positively associated with DBP {0.10 mmHg [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.04, 0.15]; 0.13 mmHg (95% CI: 0.09, 0.18), respectively} for interquartile range changes in lag 3-5 day PM2.5and NO2. Short-term NO2was negatively associated with SBP [-0.21 mmHg (95%CI: -0.30, -0.13)]. In two-pollutant models, the NO2-DBP association was slightly stronger, but for PM2.5was attenuated to null, compared with single-pollutant models. Associations between short-term NO2and DBP were more pronounced among those with higher body mass index, lower neighborhood socioeconomic position, and diabetes. When long-term (annual) and lag 3-5 day PM2.5were in the same model, associations with long-term PM2.5were stronger than for lag 3-5 day. Conclusions: We observed that short-term PM2.5and NO2levels were associated with increased DBP, although two-pollutant model results suggest NO2was more likely responsible for observed associations. Long-term PM2.5effects were larger than short-term.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-281
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Short-term Air Pollution Levels and Blood Pressure in Older Women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this