Air pollution increases the risk of acute cardiovascular events. Whether it contributes to the risk of hypertension and diabetes, chronic predisposing conditions to cardiovascular disease, is unknown. Hypertension and type 2 diabetes occur much more commonly among U.S. black women than white women, a discrepancy only partly explained by known risk factors. U.S. black women tend to live in neighborhoods with more air pollution than their white counterparts, regardless of socioeconomic status. With state-of-the-art methods, we propose to test the hypotheses that exposure to air pollution increases the risks of incident hypertension and type 2 diabetes in African American women. We will focus on particulate matter of d2.5

Public Health Relevance

The proposed study will evaluate whether exposure to air pollution increases the risks of incident hypertension and type 2 diabetes in a cohort of 59,000 African American women from across the U.S. The study is of immense public health importance given the high prevalence of hypertension and diabetes, the disparity in the incidence between black and white women, and the ubiquity of exposure to air pollution. Positive findings will inform public policy on air quality regulation, illuminate causes of racial disparities in the incidence of hypertension, and diabetes provide pivotal insight into a novel pathway whereby air pollution causes cardiovascular events, and motivate additional research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
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Kidney, Nutrition, Obesity and Diabetes (KNOD)
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Dilworth, Caroline H
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Boston University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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