Historical Exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants and Risk of Incident Hypertension

Environ Res. 2015 Apr;138:217-23. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2015.02.018. Epub 2015 Feb 26.


The aim of this study was to assess the influence of adipose tissue concentrations of a group of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) on the risk of hypertension in an adult cohort of residents of Granada (Southern Spain) over a 10-year follow-up. No chemical was significantly associated with the risk of hypertension in the overall population or when models were stratified by sex or median age. However, we found positive associations between log-transformed POP concentrations and hypertension risk in participants with body mass index (BMI) above the median value of 26.3kg/m(2), which were statistically significant for hexachlorobenzene (HR=1.26, 95% CI=1.03-1.56), β-hexachlorocyclohexane (HR=1.25, 95% CI=1.03-1.51), and polychlorinated biphenyl congeners -138 (HR=1.32, 95% CI=1.04-1.69) and -153 (HR=1.36, 95% CI=1.00-1.84). Inverse associations were observed in the subgroup with BMI≤26.3kg/m(2), but none was statistically significant. More research and a longer follow-up period are warranted to verify these associations and elucidate the role of obesity as a potential effect modifier. Given the elevated worldwide frequency of POP exposure and hypertension, the public health impact of this relationship may be substantial.

Keywords: Adipose tissue; Hypertension; Obesity; Organochlorine pesticides; Persistent organic pollutants; Polychlorinated biphenyls; Prospective study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / chemistry
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / toxicity*
  • Hypertension / chemically induced
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Insecticides / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / toxicity*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated
  • Insecticides
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls