Residential Proximity to Major Roadways and Prevalent Hypertension Among Postmenopausal Women: Results From the Women's Health Initiative San Diego Cohort (12 page pdf, Kipruto Kirwa, Melissa N. Eliot, Yi Wang, Marc A. Adams, Cindy G. Morgan, Jacqueline Kerr , Gregory J. Norman, Charles B. Eaton, Matthew A. Allison and Gregory A. Wellenius, J Am Heart Assoc., Oct. 1, 2014)
Also discussed here: Hypertension risk rises closer to major roadways (ScienceDaily, Oct. 1, 2014)
And here: Living Near a Highway May Be Bad for Your Blood Pressure (MedlinePLus, Oct. 1, 2014)
Today we review research into the possible links between the prevalence of hypertension for older women (average age 65) and how far they live from a busy roadway or highway. Results indicate that women living within 100 m of a busy road have a 22% higher risk of developing high blood pressure which equates to aging two additional years, compared to women living more than 1000 m from a busy road. The reason for hypertension which affects 1/3 of the USA population may be either noise or air pollution related to emissions from traffic or both.
“Among more than 5,000 postmenopausal women, those who lived within 109 yards of a busy road had a 22 percent greater risk of developing high blood pressure than women living at least half a mile away”
“When comparing women living 1000 m versus 100 m from a major roadway, we observed an increase in prevalence of hypertension corresponding approximately to a 2-year increase in age in this cohort.”
“A large body of literature indicates that short-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution is associated with increased cardiac sympathetic nervous system activity, vascular resistance, and blood pressure.”
“Hypertension affects _78 million or a third of US adults and _1 billion adults worldwide.”
"Approximately 80 percent of people in the U.S. now live in cities, so understanding the health consequences of the urban environment in which we live is important for individuals, public health officials and city planners,"
"potentially be due to exposure to higher levels of either traffic-related air pollution or traffic-related noise. In this study, we could not distinguish between these two possibilities,”
"High blood pressure is a major modifiable risk factor for heart attacks, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure and premature death from heart disease."
“the odds of hypertension were 1.22 to 1 for those living closest, 1.13 to 1 for those between 100 and 200 meters, and 1.05 to 1 for those between 200 and 1000 meters from a major roadway”