Date Published:Jul 26 2016
Identifying environmental exposures associated with blood pressure is a priority. Recently, we proposed the environment-wide association study to search for and replicate environmental factors associated with phenotypes. We conducted the environment-wide association study (EWAS) using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (1999–2012) which evaluated a total of 71,916 participants to prioritize environmental factors associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure. We searched for factors on participants from survey years 1999–2006 and tentatively replicated findings in participants from years 2007–2012. Finally, we estimated the overall association and performed a second meta-analysis using all survey years (1999–2012). For systolic blood pressure, self-reported alcohol consumption emerged as our top finding (a 0.04 increase in mmHg of systolic blood pressure for 1 standard deviation increase in self-reported alcohol), though the effect size is small. For diastolic blood pressure, urinary cesium was tentatively replicated; however, this factor demonstrated high heterogeneity between populations (I2 = 51%). The lack of associations across this wide of an analysis raises the call for a broader search for environmental factors in blood pressure.