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Air pollution has an immediate impact on hypertension (Paris)


Arterial hypertension is a chronic disease that affects 1 in 3 adults.can cause cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and even neurodegenerative complications“.

Previous studies have shown that certain air pollutants can promote hypertension. However, air pollution is made up of mixtures of pollutants.

An international team, led by Basile Chaix (Inserm/Sorbonne University), sought to characterize the effects on blood pressure of exposure to a mixture of 5 air pollutants in 221 people living in Greater Paris: soot carbon, nitrogen (NO2), nitric oxide (NO), carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone (O3).

Participants wore an ambulatory blood pressure monitor, two wearable sensors that continuously measured pollutant concentrations in the air, a GPS tracker to track movement, and an accelerometer that measured physical activity to estimate flow respiratory. The measurements were taken over one day of the participants’ daily lives. Blood pressure was taken every 30 minutes.

When the concentrations of the five pollutants increased in the 5 minutes preceding the measurement of the pressure, a rise in the systolic pressure (during the contraction of the heart, the top number of a measurement) was observed.

An increase in systolic pressure was also observed when the quantity of pollutants inhaled was increased in the 5 minutes preceding the measurement (quantity linked to an increase in physical activity and therefore in respiratory flow and/or concentrations).

We chose to consider short exposure windows (5 min, 15 min, 30 min, 1 h) to study the delay between exposure to pollution and the blood pressure response, explains Basile Chaix. Here, we observe that the association is weaker when the exposure is observed over exposure windows longer than 5 minutes, which testifies to the immediate aspect of the rise in blood pressure in response to an increase in concentrations of airborne pollutants in the studied mixtureadds the researcher. He pursues : “These repeated increases in blood pressure linked to exposure to urban air pollutants during travel could contribute, month after month and year after year, to a chronic elevation of blood pressure.»

Ozone and soot carbon were the largest contributors to the pressure rise.

For more information on controlling hypertension, see the links below.

Psychomedia with sources: Inserm, Environmental Research.
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