Air filters to curb indoor pollution tied to blood pressure improvement

Seniors living in housing with poor indoor air quality may have healthier blood pressure when they use portable air filters than when they don’t have these devices, a small experiment suggests.

Exposure to so-called PM2.5 – tiny particles of dust, dirt, soot, and smoke – has long been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, researchers note in JAMA Internal Medicine. But less is known about whether portable air filters might help reduce this risk.

 

The current study involved 40 nonsmokers living in low-income housing for seniors in Detroit, Michigan. The residence was located near major roadways and industrial facilities that release fine particulate matter into the air.

Residents’ blood pressure was measured after they used three different types of portable air filters, each for three days at a time: a low-efficiency air filter; a high efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filter; and a sham filter that didn’t clean the air at all.

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