Despite efforts to improve air quality in the Los Angeles area, the city has consistently remained among the most polluted in the country, according to annual surveys conducted by the American Lung Association. The impact of that pollution has proven to be especially detrimental to African-American women, contributing to an increased risk for high blood pressure and diabetes, a new study says.
Researchers at Boston University followed more than 4,000 participants in the ongoing Black Women's Health Study for 10 years and found that those living in neighborhoods with high levels of nitrogen oxides, pollutants found in traffic exhaust, were 25 percent more likely to develop diabetes and 14 percent more likely to develop hypertension than those living in sections with cleaner air.
None of the women had diabetes or high blood pressure when the study began in 1995.
Though African-American women were the subject of this study, which was published in the journal Circulation, researchers have been looking at the impact of air pollution on conditions like diabetes and hypertension for some time. Last year, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison associated indoor air pollution with increased blood pressure among older women. And in 2010, another group at Children's Hospital Boston found a connection between air pollution and diabetes. (Read more...)