In a new study, researchers found that air pollution and living in apartment buildings may be linked to an increased risk for high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a big risk factor for dangerous conditions like heart disease, and stroke.
The research was done by a team from the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences. Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in many countries.
High blood pressure and metabolic syndrome are important causes of these diseases.
Metabolic syndrome is also linked to obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood glucose levels.
Previous research has shown that the causes of these disorders are complex.
They are related to genetic factors, unhealthy lifestyles, environmental factors such as traffic air pollution, traffic noise, residential housing, and neighborhood quality.
Recent studies have found that long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and residential distance to green spaces could contribute to high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome.
In the new study, the team tested people living in private houses or multi-story houses in Kaunas City, a city of 280,000 and the second largest city in Lithuania.
They found that high air pollution levels were linked to a higher risk of reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol, or ‘good’ cholesterol) in the body.
Traffic-air exposure was linked to a higher risk of high blood pressure, higher triglyceride levels, and reduced HDL cholesterol.
However, the harmful impact of traffic air pollution was only seen in people who lived in apartment buildings.
The team explains that there is more traffic near apartment buildings, and the air conditions can be worse.
In addition, a built-up environment, high residential density, street traffic, and its configurations may influence heart health.
In contrast, greener and bigger open public spaces were linked to lower high blood pressure risk.
The researchers suggest that it is important to improve the air pollution, and noise insulation of apartments, and promote the development of green spaces in multifamily houses.
The study was published in the Journal of Public Health and conducted by Agn Brazien.
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