Long-Term Air Pollution and Blood Pressure in an African American Cohort: the Jackson Heart Study

Published:January 18, 2021DOI:


      African Americans are disproportionately affected by high blood pressure, which may be associated with exposure to air pollutants, such as fine particulate matter and ozone.


      Among African American Jackson Heart Study participants, this study examined associations between 1-year and 3-year mean fine particulate matter and ozone concentrations with prevalent and incident hypertension at Visits 1 (2000–2004, n=5,191) and 2 (2005–2008, n=4,105) using log binomial regression. Investigators examined associations with systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, pulse pressure, and mean arterial pressure using linear regression and hierarchical linear models, adjusting for sociodemographic, behavioral, and clinical characteristics. Analyses were conducted in 2017–2019.


      No associations were observed between fine particulate matter or ozone concentration and prevalent or incident hypertension. In linear models, an IQR increase in 1-year ozone concentration was associated with 0.67 mmHg higher systolic blood pressure (95% CI=0.27, 1.06), 0.42 mmHg higher diastolic blood pressure (95% CI=0.20, 0.63), and 0.50 mmHg higher mean arterial pressure (95% CI=0.26, 0.74). In hierarchical models, fine particulate matter was inversely associated with systolic blood pressure (−0.72, 95% CI= −1.31, −0.13), diastolic blood pressure (−0.69, 95% CI= −1.02, −0.36), and mean arterial pressure (−0.71, 95% CI= −1.08, −0.33). Attenuated associations were observed with 1-year concentrations and at Visit 1.


      Positive associations were observed between ozone and systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and mean arterial pressure, and inverse associations between fine particulate matter and systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and mean arterial pressure in an African American population with high (56%) prevalence of hypertension. Effect sizes were small and may not be clinically relevant.
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