Living close to a major road appears to be associated with a higher risk of arterial stiffness

In December 2018 researchers from Sweden and the USA published the results of their study to assess the association between air pollution exposures, proximity to roadway and risk of arterial stiffness. A total of 5,842 participants (average age 51 years, 54% women) were included in the study. Long-term residential particulate matter <2.5µm, proximity to roadway and short-term averages of particulate matter <2.5, black carbon, particle number, sulfate, nitrogen oxides, and ozone were assessed. Results showed that living closer to a major road was associated with higher arterial stiffness. However, higher levels of black carbon and nitrogen oxides in the previous days were unexpectedly associated with lower arterial stiffness.  No association between long- or short-term levels of particulate matter <2.5µm, particle number, sulfate or ozone and arterial stiffness were seen.

Ljungman PLS et al. Long- and short-term air pollution exposure and measures of arterial stiffness in the Framingham Heart Study. Environ Int. 2018 Dec;121(Pt 1):139-147

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