Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Original research article
Household air pollution and measures of blood pressure, arterial stiffness and central haemodynamics
  1. Jill Baumgartner1,2,3,
  2. Ellison Carter3,
  3. James J Schauer4,5,
  4. Majid Ezzati6,7,
  5. Stella S Daskalopoulou8,9,
  6. Marie-France Valois9,10,
  7. Ming Shan11,
  8. Xudong Yang11
  1. 1 Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  2. 2 Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  3. 3 Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  4. 4 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  5. 5 Environmental Chemistry and Technology Program, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  6. 6 School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK
  7. 7 MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Imperial College London, London, UK
  8. 8 Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  9. 9 Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  10. 10 Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Research Institute of the McGill University Hospital Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  11. 11 Department of Building Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jill Baumgartner, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal H3K 2E6, Canada; jill.baumgartner{at}


Objective We evaluated the exposure–response associations between personal exposure to air pollution from biomass stoves and multiple vascular and haemodynamic parameters in rural Chinese women.

Methods We analysed the baseline information from a longitudinal study in southwestern China. Women’s brachial and central blood pressure and pulse pressure, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity and augmentation index, and their 48-hour personal exposures to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon were measured in summer and winter. We evaluated the associations between exposure to air pollution and haemodynamic parameters using mixed-effects regression models adjusted for known cardiovascular risk factors.

Results Women’s (n=205, ages 27–86 years) exposures to PM2.5 and black carbon ranged from 14 µg/m3 to 1405 µg/m3 and 0.1–121.8 µg/m3, respectively. Among women aged ≥50 years, increased PM2.5 exposure was associated with higher systolic (brachial: 3.5 mm Hg (P=0.05); central: 4.4 mm Hg (P=0.005)) and diastolic blood pressure (central: 1.3 mm Hg (P=0.10)), higher pulse pressure (peripheral: 2.5 mm Hg (P=0.05); central: 2.9 mm Hg (P=0.008)) and lower peripheral–central pulse pressure amplification (−0.007 (P=0.04)). Among younger women, the associations were inconsistent in the direction of effect and not statistically significant. Increased PM2.5 exposure was associated with no difference in pulse wave velocity and modestly higher augmentation index though the CI included zero (1.1%; 95% CI −0.2% to 2.4%). Similar associations were found for black carbon exposure.

Conclusions Exposure to household air pollution was associated with higher blood pressure and central haemodynamics in older Chinese women, with no associations observed with pulse wave velocity.

  • peripheral vascular disease
  • cardiac risk factors and prevention
  • epidemiology
  • global health

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors JB, JJS, ME and XY designed the study. JB, EC and MS led data collection. All authors contributed to data analysis and interpretation. JB wrote the manuscript with input from other authors. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding This publication was supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR #137353) and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA-STAR #83542201). JB is supported by a CIHR New Investigator Award, and SSD holds a senior salary award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé.

  • Disclaimer The contents of this manuscript are solely the responsibility of the grantee and do not necessarily represent the official views of the US-EPA. Furthermore, EPA does not endorse the purchase of any commercial products or services mentioned in the publication.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethical review boards at all investigator institutions (University of Minnesota, McGill University, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Tsinghua University) approved study protocols.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Correction notice Since this paper was first published online a new supplementary file has been added. A column in table 2 has also been left aligned.

Linked Articles