Air pollution accumulate deposits in the arteries which may lead to heart disease

May 28, 2016 17:50
Air pollution accumulate deposits in the arteries which may lead to heart disease

Air pollution is one of the leading causes of death and it comes as no surprise that it raises the risk of heart diseases especially worsening the risk factors, in diabetics.

A recent decade-long study following the lives of over 6,000 US residents has shed some new light on the subject, revealing the way that people living in areas with “higher” levels of outdoor air pollution “accumulate deposits in the arteries that supply the heart faster than with the people living in less polluted areas.”

“The study provides important new information on how pollution affects the main biological process that leads to heart disease,” commented Dr Joel Kaufman, who directs MESA Air and is the lead author of the published paper. “The evidence supports worldwide efforts to reduce exposures to ambient air pollutants.”

“This was the most in-depth study of air pollution exposures ever applied to a large study group specifically designed to examine influences on cardiovascular health.”

“The effects were seen even in the United States where efforts to reduce exposure have been notably successful, compared with many other parts of the world,” Kaufman continued.

“Exposures were low when compared to US ambient air quality standards, which permit an annual average PM2.5 concentration of 12 µg/m3. The participants in this MESA-Air study experienced concentrations between 9.2 and 22.6 µg/m3.”

“We found an association between air pollution exposure in the intermediate term and undesirable changes in cholesterol,” said study first author Maayan Yitshak Sade, of Ben-Gurion University and Soroka University Medical Centre in Israel.

“This suggests that cumulative exposure to air pollution over the course of a lifetime could lead to elevated risk of cardiovascular disease,” Sade added.

“While air pollution is linked with relatively small changes in cardiometabolic risk factors, the continuous nature of exposure and the number of people affected gives us cause for concern,” said senior study author Dr Victor Novack, also of Soroka University Medical Centre and Ben-Gurion University.

By Premji

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