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Exposure to Ambient Air Pollutants May Up BP in Children, Teens

WEDNESDAY, May 5, 2021 -- Among children and adolescents, short- and long-term exposure to some ambient air pollutants may increase blood pressure, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online May 4 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Miao Huang, M.D., from the Third Xiangya Hospital in Changsha, China, and colleagues examined the association between short- and long-term ambient air pollutant exposure and BP values among children and adolescents in a systematic review and meta-analysis. Fourteen articles were included in the meta-analysis.

The researchers observed a significant association between short-term exposure to particulate matter (PM) with diameter ≤10 µm and elevated systolic BP values (ß = 0.267). Long-term exposure to PM with diameter ≤2.5 µm, PM with diameter ≤10 µm, and nitrogen dioxide was associated with systolic BP values (ß = 1.809, 0.526, and 0.754, respectively); long-term exposure to PM with diameter ≤2.5 µm and PM with diameter ≤10 µm was associated with diastolic BP values (ß = 0.931 and 0.378, respectively).

"To reduce the impact of environmental pollution on blood pressure in children and adolescents, efforts should be made to reduce their exposure to environmental pollutants," a coauthor said in a statement. "Additionally, it is also very important to routinely measure blood pressure in children and adolescents, which can help us identify individuals with elevated blood pressure early."

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