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Residential proximity to major roadways and prevalent hypertension among postmenopausal women: results from the Women's Health Initiative San Diego Cohort.

  • Author(s): Kirwa, Kipruto
  • Eliot, Melissa N
  • Wang, Yi
  • Adams, Marc A
  • Morgan, Cindy G
  • Kerr, Jacqueline
  • Norman, Gregory J
  • Eaton, Charles B
  • Allison, Matthew A
  • Wellenius, Gregory A
  • et al.
Abstract

Background

Living near major roadways has been linked with increased risk of cardiovascular events and worse prognosis. Residential proximity to major roadways may also be associated with increased risk of hypertension, but few studies have evaluated this hypothesis.

Methods and results

We examined the cross-sectional association between residential proximity to major roadways and prevalent hypertension among 5401 postmenopausal women enrolled into the San Diego cohort of the Women's Health Initiative. We used modified Poisson regression with robust error variance to estimate the association between prevalence of hypertension and residential distance to nearest major roadway, adjusting for participant demographics, medical history, indicators of individual and neighborhood socioeconomic status, and for local supermarket/grocery and fast food/convenience store density. The adjusted prevalence ratios for hypertension were 1.22 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.39), 1.13 (1.00, 1.27), and 1.05 (0.99, 1.12) for women living ≤100, >100 to 200, and >200 to 1000 versus >1000 m from a major roadway (P for trend=0.006). In a model treating the natural log of distance to major roadway as a continuous variable, a shift in distance from 1000 to 100 m from a major roadway was associated with a 9% (3%, 16%) higher prevalence of hypertension.

Conclusions

In this cohort of postmenopausal women, residential proximity to major roadways was positively associated with the prevalence of hypertension. If causal, these results suggest that living close to major roadways may be an important novel risk factor for hypertension.

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