New Study Suggests Possible Link to Risk of Heart Attack and Air Pollution

March 27th, 2014

Air quality may be an important link to reducing heart attacks according to a recent study., states the study was published in The Lancet and ranks air pollution as a possible contributor just as physical exertion, anger and alcohol use are considered triggers. It states that air pollution may be linked to heart attacks for the general population.

The fine particles in the air created by both traffic and power plants are considered to trigger the same number of heart attacks as negative emotions, shoveling snow or other physical exertion and alcohol. While on an individual level, the risk of air pollution triggering a heart attack is low – when these smaller risks are considered for a larger group of people – they could be considered a trigger.

Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD, associate professor of environmental epigenetics in the department of environmental health at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston stated that while the analysis was not difficult, no one had ever done it before. But to compare air pollution to other risk factors was, “brilliant” as air pollution is a concern in communities.

This research is very interesting and echoes other research studies we’ve discovered that discuss the potential health risks for air pollution. Clearly air pollution is not good for people’s health.

Take the time to understand the air quality in your community. Ask how you can be involved and help improve your air quality. While air quality may seem like an overwhelming problem, if you get involved and others do too – you have the ability to make a difference. Others will be inspired by your changes and they may make healthy changes too.

Consider carpooling to work or using public transportation a few days a week for your commute. In most communities this is an easy and convenient choice. Carpooling can have its benefits as you get to know your neighbors and coworkers. You may have the opportunity to network or make new friends.

Plants improve our air quality. Taking the time to grow plants, flowers and trees will help air quality. Even if you don’t have a garden of your own – you can help grow by volunteering at a community garden or growing plants on your windowsill or deck. Every plant you nurture and grow has the ability to help air quality. Best of all you can enjoy fresh veggies, fruits, flowers and the beauty of nature.


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