Scientists know that air pollution can cause serious problems like cancer for our health, but a new study has found that it can also have negative effects on young people’s blood pressure.
In the study, led by King’s College London, researchers looked at the relationship between the blood pressure of 3,284 young people living in London and the amount of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter in the air around them.
This data was collected as part of the Determinants of Adolescent Social Wellbeing and Health (DASH) research. The purpose of this research is to observe the well-being of school-going children of different nationalities in London over time.
The,participants were from 51 different secondary schools in London and the majority of them were from ethnic minority backgrounds. The students were selected during the periods 2004-2003 and 2006-2005 and then their blood pressure, height and weight were measured.
Each participant in the study completed a questionnaire that asked in detail about nationality, residential area and socio-economic status. The amount of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter over the required period was obtained from annual models of pollution levels in London.
The analysis found that higher exposure of nitrogen dioxide on young people was associated with lower blood pressure. In the study, the researchers also found that the high disclosure of particulate matter was related to higher blood pressure.
The study also found a stronger relationship between these two factors in girls than in boys.
The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.