Air pollution increases risk of hypertension in children | The New Times

Children exposed to high levels of air pollution in late pregnancy are likely to develop high blood pressure.

Findings of a study published in the American Heart Association’s “Hypertension” journal reveals that such children are most vulnerable to the condition if air pollution affects them during the third trimester of their mother’s pregnancy.

When someone has high blood pressure or hypertension, the heart and arteries have a much heavier workload.

The heart has to pump harder and the arteries are under greater strain as they carry blood.

This puts affected children at a high risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, loss of vision, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) if they do not receive effective treatment.

Children participating in the study were exposed to a type of air pollutant known as fine particulate matter weighing 2.5 micrometres or less (PM2.5). This weight is 30 times smaller than a single hair strand.

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