Abstract: Domestic incense burning is a common activity in China. Although it generates serious air pollution and has been linked to various health outcomes, it remains unknown whether it is associated with blood pressure and hypertension. A community-based survey including 1153 hypertensive subjects and 4432 normotensive participants in Guangdong (China) was used to examine this question. Two-level logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). The analyses showed that, compared with non-users, OR of hypertension was 1.24 (95% CI: 1.03-1.50) for users, and 1.37 (95% CI: 1.04-1.80) for daily users with a clear dose-response relationship. The estimated increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressures were 1.02 mmHg (95% CI: 0.06-1.99) and 1.26 mmHg (95% CI: 0.69-1.83) for users, 0.67 mmHg (95% CI: -0.35-1.68) and 1.25 mmHg (95% CI: 0.66-1.85) for occasional users, and 2.09 mmHg (95% CI: 0.79-3.39) and 1.28 mmHg (95% CI: 0.52-2.05) for daily users, respectively. The results remained after adjusting for potential confounders and more pronounced associations were found among females. This study suggests that domestic incense burning may increase the risk of hypertension and blood pressure in the study population, and women are more vulnerable to these effects than men.
Keywords: China; domestic incense burning; hypertension; indoor air pollution.