Living near highway linked to hypertension
A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests a strong link between the risk of hypertension and living near a busy highway.
To conduct their study, the researchers at Brown University analyzed data from 5,400 post-menopausal women in the San Diego metropolitan area. They found that women who lived within 100 meters of a highway or major arterial road had a 22 percent greater risk of hypertension than women who lived at least 1,000 meters away. In a range of intermediate distances, hypertension risk rose with proximity to the roadways.
The researchers note that because the study measured only who had hypertension and where they lived at one moment in time, it does not necessarily show a causal link. The study also does not explain what specifically about proximity to the road could cause hypertension. It could be related to airborne pollutants or noise or both, the researchers noted. However, they believe the should serve as a red flag for public health officials in urban areas.