Sex-specific associations between the environmental exposures and low-grade inflammation and increased blood pressure in young, healthy subjects

Wojciech M. Marchewka, Krzysztof L. Bryniarski, Jakub M. Marchewka, Iwona Popiołek, Grzegorz Dębski, Rafał Badacz, Ida Marchewka, Natalia Podolec-Szczepara, Barbara Jasiewicz-Honkisz, Tomasz P. Mikołajczyk, Tomasz J Guzik*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Long-term exposures to environmental factors including airborne as well as noise pollutants, are associated with cardiovascular risk. However, the influence of environmental pollution on the young population is controversial. Accordingly, we aimed to investigate the relationships between long-term exposures to different environmental factors and major cardiovascular and inflammatory parameters and biomarkers in young, healthy subjects. Representative sample of permanent residents of two cities differing in air and noise pollution levels, aged 15–21 years, were recruited. Krakow and Lublin, both located in southern Poland, were chosen in relation to their similarities in demographic and geopolitical characteristics, but differences in air pollution (higher in Krakow) and noise parameters (higher in Lublin). A total of 576 subjects were studied: 292 in Krakow and 284 in Lublin. All subjects underwent health questionnaire, blood pressure measurements and biomarker determinations. Inflammatory biomarkers, such as CRP, hs-CRP, fibrinogen as well as homocysteine were all significantly higher in subjects living in Krakow as opposed to subjects living in Lublin (for hsCRP: 0.52 (0.32–0.98) mg/l vs. 0.35 (0.22–0.67) mg/l; p < 0.001). Increased inflammatory biomarker levels were observed in Krakow in both male and female young adults. Interestingly, significant differences were observed in blood pressure between male and female subjects. Males from Krakow had significantly higher mean systolic blood pressure (127.7 ± 10.4 mm/Hg vs. 122.4 ± 13.0 mm/Hg; p = 0.001), pulse pressure (58.7 ± 8.9 mm/Hg vs. 51.4 ± 12.3 mm/Hg; p < 0.001) and lower heart rate (p < 0.001) as compared to males living in Lublin. This was not observed in young adult females. Long-term exposure to environmental factors related to the place of residence can significantly influence inflammatory and cardiovascular parameters, even in young individuals. Interestingly, among otherwise healthy young adults, blood pressure differences exhibited significant variations based on biological sex.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9588
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes

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