More Women Suffer Hypertension Due To Air Pollution

Air pollution’s effects have been linked to a number of health problems across the world. Long term exposure to poor air quality is widely known to worsen asthma and reduce lung function. 

But two new studies show that air pollution has more bad effects than previously reported and women commonly suffer. In Lithuania, higher risk of having a heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes was found in women living in apartment buildings with poor air quality. 

The findings come from the analysis of the health of residents of private houses or multi-story houses in the city of Kaunas in Lithuania. Researchers looked at the link between long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and residential distance to green spaces and major roads.

The team also studied the presence of components of metabolic syndrome and the development of hypertension in participants. Results show that exposure to traffic-related air pollution led to women’s higher chances of having hypertension.

Another study conducted in India shows the same negative effect of air pollution in women. High cases of hypertension was found in women in urban villages in Southern India. 

Researchers studied 5,531 adults from 28 villages near Hyderabad city and focused on their annual residential exposure to fine particulate matter and black carbon.

The study, published in the journal Epidemiology, shows that 46 percent of women studied had undiagnosed and untreated hypertension. The research said all participants were exposed to high levels of air pollutants. 

"Women spend most of their time near their households in this study area -- 83 percent of their daily time as compared to 57 percent for men, which could explain why we observe a stronger association in women than in men," Ariadna Curto, first author of the study, said in a statement

The two studies conducted in different countries confirm the negative effects of air pollution in women who live either in high-income countries or lower middle-income nations. 

An expert explained that air pollution potentially contributed to high risk of hypertension due to inflammation and oxidative stress that could cause changes in arterial function. Researchers noted further research is required to fully understand the impact of poor air quality in different areas. 

Air Pollution Long term exposure to air pollution is widely known to worsen asthma and reduce lung function. Pixabay