Effectiveness of indoor air purification intervention in improving cardiovascular health: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Xia X., Chan KH., Lam KBH., Qiu H., Li Z., Yim SHL., Ho K-F.
Indoor air purifiers are increasingly marketed for their health benefits, but their cardiovascular effects remain unclear. We systematically reviewed and meta-analysed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the cardiovascular effects of indoor air purification interventions in humans of all ages. We searched Embase, Medline, PubMed, and Web of Science from inception to 22 August 2020. Fourteen cross-over RCTs (18 publications) were included. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) was significantly reduced after intervention (-2.28 (95% CI: -3.92, -0.64) mmHg). There were tendencies of reductions in diastolic blood pressure (-0.35 [-1.52, 0.83] mmHg), pulse pressure (PP) (-0.86 [-2.07, 0.34] mmHg), C-reactive protein (-0.23 [-0.63, 0.18] mg/L), and improvement in reactive hyperaemia index (RHI) (0.10 [-0.04, 0.24]) after indoor air purification, although the effects were not statistically significant. However, when restricting the analyses to RCTs using physical-type purifiers only, significant improvements in PP (-1.56 [-2.98, -0.15] mmHg) and RHI (0.13 [0.01, 0.25]) were observed. This study found potential evidence on the short-term cardiovascular benefits of using indoor air purifiers, especially for SBP, PP and RHI. However, under the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation framework, the overall certainty of evidence was very low, which discourage unsubstantiated claims on the cardiovascular benefits of air purifiers. We have also identified several key methodological limitations, including small sample size, short duration of intervention, and the lack of wash-out period. Further RCTs with larger sample size and longer follow-up duration are needed to clarify the cardiovascular benefits of air purification interventions.