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Air pollution ups blood pressure

Air pollution is everywhere in our cities and its hard to avoid. I know that it’s not good for my lungs. I didn’t know it was affecting my blood pressure too!

This study surprised me as it showed people exposed to air pollution for only a short time had an increase in blood pressure than could potentially trigger a heart attack or stroke.

The air pollution study

Researchers monitored 83 people as they breathed in levels of air pollution similar to those in an urban city near a roadway. They breathed in this pollution for 2 hours. How awful!

The researchers tested their blood pressure and blood vessel function before and after the pollution.

They stayed in a mobile air quality research facility that produces fine particles about a 10th of the diameter of a human hair that replicates air pollution in a city.

The results!

The exposure to pollution caused an increase in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) and impaired blood vessel function. The diastolic blood pressure increased of up to 4.0mmHg within 2 hours. The impairment in blood vessel function occurred later but lasted as long as 24 hours.

The researchers believe the fine air pollution particles may deposit deep in the lungs which enter the blood stream and cause an inflammatory response throughout the body.

What the researchers said …

Robert Brook the lead author said, “Although this increase in diastolic blood pressure may pose little health risk to healthy people, in people with underlying coronary artery disease this small increase may actually be able to a trigger heart attack or stroke.”

The study from the University of Michigan was published in the American Heart Association Journal Hypertension.

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About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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