Study demonstrates association between exposure to air pollution and vascular damage

Study demonstrates association between exposure to air pollution and vascular damage

News from ISGlobal

A study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) contributes new evidence about the negative impact of air pollution on cardiovascular health. The results of the study, which analysed the relationship between several cardiovascular markers and personal exposure to two air pollutants — fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon — in over 3,000 people living around the Indian city of Hyderabad, showed that exposure to polluted air increases the risk of vascular damage.

An association between air pollution and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease has been reported by many authors, but most of the research to date has been carried out in high-income countries, where the main source of exposure is road vehicle traffic. Low- and middle-income countries have other important sources, such as biomass stoves. Furthermore, most of those studies used data on the air pollution levels measured in the area around the participants’ homes and did not monitor personal exposure, a method that provides more accurate information.

Now, a team from the CHAI Project, coordinated by ISGlobal, has conducted a cross-sectional study of more than 3,000 people living in 28 villages in a peri-urban area south of the city of Hyderabad in India. In the course of two separate visits to the clinic, the participants’ weight and height was recorded and blood samples were taking for testing. The researchers also evaluated three cardiovascular markers that reflect different types of vascular damage. Information on socioeconomic status and health behaviours was collected from participants using questionnaires.


Ranzani OT, Milà C, Sanchez M, et al. Personal exposure to particulate air pollution and vascular damage in peri-urban South India [published online ahead of print, 2020 Apr 30]. Environ Int. 2020;139:105734. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2020.105734

More information:
ISGlobal website