Indoor air pollution and blood pressure in adult women living in rural China.

TitleIndoor air pollution and blood pressure in adult women living in rural China.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsBaumgartner J, Schauer JJ, Ezzati M, Lu L, Cheng C, Patz JA, Bautista LE
JournalEnviron Health Perspect
Date Published2011 Oct
KeywordsAdult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Air Pollution, Indoor, Blood Pressure, China, Environmental Monitoring, Female, Humans, Middle Aged, Particulate Matter, Risk Factors

BACKGROUND: Almost half of the world's population uses coal and biomass fuels for domestic energy. Limited evidence suggests that exposure to air pollutants from indoor biomass combustion may be associated with elevated blood pressure (BP).

OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to assess the relationship between air pollution exposure from indoor biomass combustion and BP in women in rural China.

METHODS: We measured 24-hr personal integrated gravimetric exposure to fine particles < 2.5 µm in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) and systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) in the winter and summer among 280 women ≥ 25 years of age living in rural households using biomass fuels in Yunnan, China. We investigated the association between PM2.5 exposure and SBP and DBP using mixed-effects models with random intercepts to account for correlation among repeated measures.

RESULTS: Personal average 24-hr exposure to PM2.5 ranged from 22 to 634 µg/m3 in winter and from 9 to 492 µg/m3 in summer. A 1-log-µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 exposure was associated with 2.2 mm Hg higher SBP [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.8 to 3.7; p = 0.003] and 0.5 mm Hg higher DBP (95% CI, -0.4 to 1.3; p = 0.31) among all women; estimated effects varied by age group. Among women > 50 years of age, a 1-log-µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 exposure was associated with 4.1 mm Hg higher SBP (95% CI, 1.5 to 6.6; p = 0.002) and 1.8 mm Hg higher DBP (95% CI, 0.4 to 3.2; p = 0.01). PM2.5 exposure was positively associated with SBP among younger women, but the association was not statistically significant.

CONCLUSION: PM2.5 exposure from biomass combustion may be a risk factor for elevated BP and hence for cardiovascular events. Our findings should be corroborated in longitudinal studies.

Alternate JournalEnviron. Health Perspect.
PubMed ID21724522