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Hypertension. 2014 Apr;63(4):871-7. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.113.02588. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

Personal black carbon exposure influences ambulatory blood pressure: air pollution and cardiometabolic disease (AIRCMD-China) study.

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110 S Paca St, 7th Floor, Room 7-N-100, Baltimore, MD 21201,; or Zhongjie Fan, No. 1 Shuaifuyuan, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China 100730, E-mail


Few prospective studies have assessed the blood pressure effect of extremely high air pollution encountered in Asia's megacities. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between combustion-related air pollution with ambulatory blood pressure and autonomic function. During February to July 2012, personal black carbon was determined for 5 consecutive days using microaethalometers in patients with metabolic syndrome in Beijing, China. Simultaneous ambient fine particulate matter concentration was obtained from the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center and the US Embassy. Twenty-four-hour ambulatory blood pressure and heart rate variability were measured from day 4. Arterial stiffness and endothelial function were obtained at the end of day 5. For statistical analysis, we used generalized additive mixed models for repeated outcomes and generalized linear models for single/summary outcomes. Mean (SD) of personal black carbon and fine particulate matter during 24 hours was 4.66 (2.89) and 64.2 (36.9) μg/m(3). Exposure to high levels of black carbon in the preceding hours was associated significantly with adverse cardiovascular responses. A unit increase in personal black carbon during the previous 10 hours was associated with an increase in systolic blood pressure of 0.53 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure of 0.37 mm Hg (95% confidence interval, 0.17-0.89 and 0.10-0.65 mm Hg, respectively), a percentage change in low frequency to high frequency ratio of 5.11 and mean interbeat interval of -0.06 (95% confidence interval, 0.62-9.60 and -0.11 to -0.01, respectively). These findings highlight the public health effect of air pollution and the importance of reducing air pollution.


air pollution; blood pressure; carbon black; particulate matter

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