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Air Pollution a Main Source of Cardiovascular Diseases, Studies Confirm

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First Posted: Nov 18, 2013 03:31 AM EST
Air Pollution
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)

Recent studies show that air pollution is also a big culprit behind cardiovascular diseases. Based on new evidence, air pollution does not only aggravate cardiovascular conditions but cause it. Notably, people who live in congested areas have higher risks of heart attack and stroke.

Air pollution has been a pressing problem for decades, and its effects on human health are becoming more evident and undeniable. According to the World Health Organization, air pollution belongs to the list of the world's most dangerous environmental carcinogens. It has been consistently linked to lung diseases and cancer.

However, the detrimental health effects of air pollution don't end here. Based on a report by the New York Times, polluted air has high concentration levels of particulates - minute particles of matter floating in the atmosphere. These particulates make their way into the respiratory system and bury themselves in lung tissue. This leads to inflammation that affects the circulatory system. As a result, blood vessels constrict and artery walls thicken.

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A team of researchers led by Dr. Sara Adar, an epidemiology professor at the University of Michigan, has intently focused on the effect of these particulates to the body. Based on the studies, an almost linear relationship exists between air pollution and circulatory ramifications. Prolonged exposure to high levels of air pollutants increases damage on blood vessels and artery walls. But once the subject is taken out of the environment, damage slowed.

Several other studies have supported these claims. Dr. Arden Pope, an economics professor at the Brigham Young University, published a paper in 1898 associating respiratory diseases with air pollution caused by a steel mill.

A study by MESA Air also noted that vehicle emissions are viewed as one of the most harmful contributors to air pollution. They contain finer particulates that are quickly absorbed by the body. Traffic-related particulates also have an unusual shape. They have a wider surface area where other types of contaminants can easily adhere to.

What's going on with the air we breathe is definitely a sad story, but there's still hope. Let's do our part by sticking to clean air regulations and public policies. But for the meantime, invest on a good air purifier. If you have no control over the air you breathe while walking around the city, make sure that you breathe nothing but clean air inside your home. 

 

 

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