Except the known risk factors for hypertension, several studies have suggested that exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs), endocrine disrupting chemicals, could be associated with an increased risk of hypertension. In this study, we performed a meta-analysis to summarize the existing epidemiological studies to investigate the association between POPs concentration and risk of hypertension. Based on comprehensive literature search results (PubMed, EMBASE, and KoreaMed), a meta-analysis of 11 articles was performed using a random-effects model. While we observed no significant association between the sum of non-dioxin-like PCBs and the risk of hypertension (OR = 1.00; 95 % CI 0.89, 1.12), the sum of dioxin-like PCBs was associated with a significantly increased risk of hypertension (OR = 1.45; 95 % CI 1.00, 2.12). High p,p'-DDE level was also significantly associated with the increased risk of hypertension. When subgroup analyses were carried out for studies which analyzed POPs concentrations using high-resolution gas chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry, the overall pooled estimate ORs increased with decreased heterogeneity, providing it as a possible heterogeneity source (OR = 1.36; 95 % CI 1.21, 1.52; I (2) = 42.8 %; p = 0.045). This study suggested that the concentration of certain POPs, especially dioxin-related compounds, was associated with the risk of hypertension.
Keywords: Blood pressure; Endocrine disruptors; Hypertension; Polychlorinated biphenyls.