A link has been found between pollution in urban areas and raised blood pressure. Researchers from the University of Dusiburg-Essen in Germany analysed data from 5,000 people all taking part in the Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study, which focuses on the development of heart disease.
The findings, presented to the American Thoracic Society, showed that city dwellers were more likely to suffer from increased blood pressure. Pollution was said to be responsible.
“Both, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, are higher in people who live in more polluted areas, even if we take important factors that also influence blood pressure like age, gender, smoking, weight, etc. into account. Blood pressure increases were stronger in women than in men,” said researcher Dr. Hoffman.
“It is therefore necessary to further our attempts to prevent chronic exposure to high air pollution as much as possible,” he added.
The BBC spoke to Judy O’Sullivan, a senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, who suggested that more research was needed into the matter.
“We know there’s a link between air pollution and heart and circulatory disease but we don’t yet fully understand its exact nature.“
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