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Don’t Pollute Your Heart!

A recent study shows that a week spent in polluted air can raise the risk of heart attack. This extra risk provided is less compared to other major factors like high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes. The additional risk provided by pollution is significant as more and more people are being exposed to air pollution. This study clearly shows that controlling the quality of air is very important to improve public health, says Hazrije Mustafic from the University of Paris Descartes.

Many studies have suggested potentially dangerous effects of air pollution on health. This is the first study to report the dangerous effect of even short term exposure to air pollution. In this study, data was analyzed from 34 studies, reporting the association between air pollution exposure and risk of heart attack. The pollutants under consideration were ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and particular matter. The results showed that all major air pollutants were linked to a slight increase in the risk of heart attack.

Researchers suggest that inflammation caused by exposure to air pollution may be the cause for the increased risk of heart attack. In addition some of the studies have reported that exposure to air pollution may increase the heart rate which in turn raises the probability of formation of potentially dangerous clots.

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