According to a report by US News Health Care dated May 31, 2016, a review of 17 studies from around the world, posted on a journal called Hypertension, has established a clear link between air pollution and high blood pressure.
Air pollution has been linked to several health issues including asthma. These studies involved 328,000 people from around the world, of whom about 108,000 were high blood pressure patients.
Tao Liu, an author of one of the studies involved and deputy director of the environmental health division of the Guangdong Provincial Institute of Public Health in Guangzhou, China, said “Our results demonstrated that air pollutants had both short-term and long-term effects on [high blood pressure] risks,”
In the short run, a few days of increased exposure to air pollution can lead to increased visits to the hospital because of a temporary increase in blood pressure.
In the long term, people living in areas with high levels of air pollution can develop chronic high blood pressure issues. Industrial areas with compounds such as sulfur dioxide in the air have an increased rate of impact, as it acts as a catalyst.
High blood pressure is one of the major factors for strokes and heart-related diseases and is no. 1 in death factors worldwide. High BP accounts for about 17 percent all over the world.
Liu also suggested that people with high BP should consciously steer clear of areas with high air pollution density because this is the best measure to keep oneself from kickstarting hypertension until there is a pollution control measure that is adapted globally.
Hypertension can result from genetic factors. Hence, the issues once incurred are not limited to the person. Offsprings have known to be born with a high prone rate to it.
The study on one hand did establish a relationship between the two, it failed to establish a cause-and-effect relationship. The ozone depletion and carbon monoxide were also tied to it but there was no statistical significance in the data that was gathered.