Exposure to air pollution in India is associated with more hypertension in women

Exposure to air pollution in India is associated with more hypertension in women

News from ISGlobal

Long-term exposure to air pollution has been previously associated with a higher risk of hypertension in high-income countries, where air pollution levels are generally lower than in low- and middle-income countries. A team led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) set out to study this association in India, a lower middle-income country where burdens of air pollution and hypertension are projected to increase. The results show that women exposed to higher levels of air pollution at residence have a higher hypertension prevalence.

The study, performed within the framework of the CHAI project and published in the journal Epidemiology, studied 5,531 adults from 28 peri-urban villages near Hyderabad city, in Southern India. 

Notably, all study participants were exposed to fine particulate matter levels above the 10 μg/m³ limit recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The results show that an increase of 1μg/m3 in PM2.5 exposure was associated with a 4% increase in hypertension prevalence in women, as well as a higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure –an increase of 1,4 mmHg and 0.87 mmHg, respectively–. In men, the association observed was weaker.

The research indicates that long-term exposure to particulate matter is associated with a higher prevalence of hypertension, regardless of the type of fuel used for cooking.


Curto A, Wellenius GA, Milà C, Sánchez M, Ranzani O, Marshall JD, Kulkarni B, Bhogadi S, Kinra S, Tonne C Ambient Particulate Air Pollution and Blood Pressure in Peri-urban India. Epidemiology 2019; 30(4): 492-500

More information:
ISGlobal website