Background: Cross-sectional studies have shown associations between arsenic exposure and prevalence of high blood pressure; however, studies examining the relationship of arsenic exposure with longitudinal changes in blood pressure are lacking.
Method: We evaluated associations of arsenic exposure in relation to longitudinal change in blood pressure in 10,853 participants in the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study (HEALS). Arsenic was measured in well water and in urine samples at baseline and in urine samples every 2 years after baseline. Mixed-effect models were used to estimate the association of baseline well and urinary creatinine-adjusted arsenic with annual change in blood pressure during follow-up (median, 6.7 years).
Result: In the HEALS population, the median water arsenic concentration at baseline was 62 μg/L. Individuals in the highest quartile of baseline water arsenic or urinary creatinine-adjusted arsenic had a greater annual increase in systolic blood pressure compared with those in the reference group (β = 0.48 mmHg/year; 95% CI: 0.35, 0.61, and β = 0.43 mmHg/year; 95% CI: 0.29, 0.56 for water arsenic and urinary creatinine-adjusted arsenic, respectively) in fully adjusted models. Likewise, individuals in the highest quartile of baseline arsenic exposure had a greater annual increase in diastolic blood pressure for water arsenic and urinary creatinine-adjusted arsenic, (β = 0.39 mmHg/year; 95% CI: 0.30, 0.49, and β = 0.45 mmHg/year; 95% CI: 0.36, 0.55, respectively) compared with those in the lowest quartile.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that long-term arsenic exposure may accelerate age-related increases in blood pressure. These findings may help explain associations between arsenic exposure and cardiovascular disease.