Environmental factors are an important cause of poor health globally. Hypertension is known to occur due to complex interactions between adverse lifestyles and environmental factors on a background of polygenic inheritance. Although pharmacological interventions have taken a prominent place, environmental factors and interventions have generally received less consideration. The short-term and long term impact of several environmental factors on blood pressure changes such as cold ambient temperature, exposure to loud noise, air pollution, high altitude, certain organic pollutants, and heavy metals have been recently reported. In this chapter, the current evidence on the effect of such environmental risk factors on blood pressure with its pathophysiological mechanisms and clinical relevance have been described in detail. As some of these effects are clinically relevant, clinicians, patients with hypertension or cardiovascular disease and individuals at high risk for cardiovascular disease would need to be aware of these environmental factors. Furthermore, close attention to monitoring blood pressure during such exposures is necessary and in individuals with hypertension, treatment schedules may need adjustment to ensure more optimal blood pressure control.
Keywords: Air pollution, Aircraft noise, Ambient temperature, Blood pressure, Cardiovascular diseases, Diastolic hypertension, Environmental factors, Heart disease, Heavy metals, High altitude, Hypertension, Lifestyle, Loud noise, Noise pollution, Organic pollutants, Pathophysiology, Risk factors, Sleep apnoea, Systolic hypertension, Work environment.