Life-course exposure to ambient fine particulate matter and hypertension in adulthood: a longitudinal cohort study

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2023 Jan;30(1):788-797. doi: 10.1007/s11356-022-22272-w. Epub 2022 Jul 29.


PM2.5-hypertension association were well documented in adults, while the effects of life-course exposure to PM2.5 on adulthood hypertension remained unclear. This study aimed to investigate the associations between life-course exposure to ambient PM2.5 and incident hypertension in adulthood in Asia. We included 4272 participants with 17,814 medical visits from two open cohorts in Taiwan and Hong Kong between 2000 and 2018. We used a satellite-based model to assess 2-year average PM2.5 exposure at a resolution of 1 km2. A linear mixed model was used to examine the association with blood pressure. A Cox regression model with time-dependent covariates was used to examine the overall association with the development of hypertension in adulthood. Life-course mixed models were used to examine the effects of PM2.5 exposure at different life stages on blood pressure and hypertension. For every 10 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5, the overall risk of adulthood hypertension increased by 40% (95% confidence interval [CI] 8-80%). The health effects of PM2.5 exposure at different life-stages on incident hypertension were generally independent of each other. In critical model, the risk of developing hypertension increased 23%, 27%, and 55% for each 10 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 exposure during school age, adolescence, and adulthood, respectively. Similar associations were found between life-course PM2.5 exposure and blood pressure. Association between PM2.5 and adulthood hypertension can be traced back to childhood. Our study suggests that life-course control of air pollution exposure should be implemented to alleviate the huge burden of adulthood hypertension.

Keywords: Ambient PM2.5; Blood pressure; Children and adolescents; Hypertension; Life-course exposure.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants* / analysis
  • Air Pollution*
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / epidemiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Particulate Matter / analysis


  • Particulate Matter
  • Air Pollutants