Thursday, August 25, 2011

Traffic Air and Sound Pollution Impacts on Blood Pressure and Hypertension

Long-Term Urban Particulate Air Pollution, Traffic Noise and Arterial Blood Pressure (30 page pdf, Kateryna Fuks, Susanne Moebus, Sabine Hertel, Anja Viehmann, Michael Nonnemacher, Nico Dragano, Stefan Möhlenkamp, Hermann Jakobs, Christoph Kessler, Raimund Erbel, Barbara Hoffmann, |Environmental Health Perspectives, Aug. 9, 2011)

The focus today is on research into the impacts of long term exposure to emissions and noise from heavy traffic (greater than 22,000 vehicles/day) on blood pressure. The results point to a link even when the increase in PM concentration is small, because even a small increase over the long term has large impacts in population health terms.

Key Quotes:

“Urban PM air pollution is determined by multiple sources, including regionally transported PM,local industrial sources, home heating, and traffic”

“we investigated the cross-sectional association of long-term urban background particulate matter with arterial BP and hypertension in a population-based sample, taking longterm traffic noise and short-term variations of air pollution into account.”

“Residential proximity ≤50 m to high heavy-duty traffic and long-term road traffic noise >65 dB were associated with a somewhat higher prevalence of hypertension”

“long-term PM exposure may promote atherosclerosis with air pollution-induced increases in BP being one possible biologic pathway”

High BP is the most important determinant of cardiovascular mortality and even small changes on the population level can lead to a high burden of attributable disease”

“An exposure contrast of only few Lg/m3 PM2.5 in the urban background concentration may therefore lead to a shift in the population distribution of BP, similar in effect size to the dietary salt reductions”

“We consider these findings to be indicative of traffic-related effects on a small spatial scale, independent of and in addition to the effects of urban background air pollution”
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