A Boston University-based study has found a connection between air pollution and a higher risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes among African American women. The study followed 4,000 African American women in the Los Angeles area between 1995 and 2005. The women who had the highest exposure to nitrogen oxides, a result of traffic-related air pollution, had a 24 percent higher risk of diabetes and an 11 percent higher risk of suffering from hypertension.
Lead author of the study, Patricia Coogan, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health, said, “A link between air pollution and the risks of diabetes and hypertension is of particular importance to African American women, because the incidence of both conditions is almost twice as high in African American women as in White women.” Also of importance is the fact that Black women are more likely than White women to live in urban areas with high levels of traffic-related air pollution.
The research was published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.