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Several toxic effects of crude oil have been reported on human reproductive, respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous systems. An instance is seen in the negative effect on fertility resulting from prolonged exposure to fumes from the exhausts of vehicles. This study, therefore, investigated gender-specific changes in selected cardiovascular variables of residents of gas flaring and crude oil contaminated communities of Delta State, southern Nigeria. Two Hundred and Forty (240) subjects exposed to gas flaring and crude oil contamination (Experimental group) were ethically sourced from Agbarho [Ughelli North Local government Area (LGA)] and Bomadi (Bomadi LGA); both gas flaring communities in Delta State. One hundred and twenty (120) non-exposed individuals were also recruited (control group) from Abraka, a non-gas flaring community in Ethiope East LGA of the same state. Subjects were matched by gender and duration of stay (exposure) in the target communities. The cardiovascular variables [systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP)] of all the subjects were measured, while pulse and mean arterial pressures (PP and MAP respectively) were calculated. Following statistical analysis (using the student t-test), results showed (at p < 0.05) a statistically significant increase in SBP and MAP of the experimental group. The study also found a significant increase in DBP and PP for experimental than the control group; it also reflected a durational-dependent exposure of subjects to increased SBP and DBP. Exposed males showed an increase in average values of PP, MAP, SBP and DBP than their female counterparts. Also, oil contamination caused a greater negative percentage impact on the MAP than gas flaring. This Study, therefore, ascertained the veracity of previous findings; confirming gas flaring and crude oil contamination as potent elicitors of hypertension. Hence, we recommend periodic epidemiological assessment of environmental pollutants as a factor of hypertensive individuals.
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