February 20, 2013

Revving up the research into air pollution dangers

TrafficAir pollution may contribute to an increased death rate among heart attack patients, a study has suggested.

Researchers linked records of over 154,000 heart attack survivors with average air pollution levels. In particular, they looked at fine airborne particulate matter (PM). The main sources of PM in the UK are road traffic and industry emissions, including power generation.

They found that for every ten cubic meter increase in PM, there was a 20 percent increase in the death rate of those studied.

We’re currently funding further research in this area

Our Senior Cardiac Nurse, Maureen Talbot, said: “Air pollution is greater in some areas of the UK than others and we know that it can contribute to a number of health problems.

“This study shows an increased risk of death in people with heart problems when exposed to higher levels of air pollution. However, we don’t know enough at this stage to fully understand this relationship.

“We’re currently funding further research in this area, to establish how air pollution affects the blood vessels and so increase our knowledge about its effects on the heart.

“In the meantime, we can still do plenty to look after our hearts by getting plenty of physical activity, eating a healthy diet and not smoking.”

This research was published by the European Heart Journal.