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P3.12 Blood Pressure Changes in Association with Personal Black Carbon Exposure are Not Mediated Through Microcirculatory Responses

Abstract

Exposure to ambient particulate matter and elevated blood pressure are risk factors for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Microvascular changes might be an important pathway in the association between air pollution and blood pressure. The objective of the study was to evaluate the role of the retinal microcirculation in the association between black carbon exposure and blood pressure.

A total of 56 healthy adults were provided with a µ-aethalometer for one week to measure personal exposure to black carbon. Blood pressure and retinal microvasculature were measured on average on four different days (range: 2–4) during this week.

Mean black carbon exposure was 866 ± 425 ng/m3 and ranged from 201 ng/ m3 to 2415 ng/m3. An interquartile range increase (313 ng/m3) in black carbon exposure was associated with a 2.80 mm Hg (95% CI: 1.12 to 4.49, p<0.01) increase in systolic blood pressure and a 2.48 mm Hg (95% CI: 1.21 to 3.74, p<0.001) increase in diastolic blood pressure. These associations were independent of individual characteristics and time varying factors. Mediation analysis failed to reveal an effect of retinal microvasculature in the association between blood pressure and black carbon.

In conclusion, we found a positive association between blood pressure and personal black carbon exposure in healthy adults. This finding adds evidence to the association between black carbon exposure and cardiovascular health effects, with elevated blood pressure as a plausible intermediate effector. Our results suggest that the association between a person’s usual blood pressure and black carbon exposure operates independent of the microcirculation.

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Louwies, T., Boever, P.D., Cox, B. et al. P3.12 Blood Pressure Changes in Association with Personal Black Carbon Exposure are Not Mediated Through Microcirculatory Responses. Artery Res 8, 139 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.artres.2014.09.123

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.artres.2014.09.123