July 10, 2013
Heart failure pollution danger
In the UK over 750,000 people suffer from
heart failure – a debilitating and incurable condition which
accounts for around a million hospital beds a year.
In a huge study funded by your donations,
scientists at the University of Edinburgh found that even
brief exposure to air pollution increases hospital admissions and
death rates among people living with heart failure.
Air pollution could be making already vulnerable people even more unwell.
The study spanned 12
countries and nearly four million heart failure patients.
Dr Anoop Shah, Researcher at the University of
Edinburgh’s BHF Centre of Research Excellence comments:
“We already know that air pollution is
associated with an increased risk of having a heart attack. Our
study suggests that air pollution also affects patients with heart
“We found a strong association between
exposure to air pollution and admission to hospital with heart
failure or death from heart failure. The effects were strongest for
particulate matter found in vehicle exhaust fumes.”
The government must meet targets to save lives
Across the UK, reducing the levels of harmful particles in the
air could potentially increase the nation's average life expectancy
by up to eight months.
Joseph Clift, Policy Manager here at the
British Heart Foundation says:
“Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK are
living each day with the impact of heart failure. This study
reveals air pollution could be making these already vulnerable
people even more unwell.
“It’s vital that the UK government meets
European Commission targets to improve air quality. The benefit
would not only be felt by heart failure patients, but – by reducing
the cost to the NHS – our economy too.”
A cure for heart failure?
Finding a cure for heart failure is the
subject of a major British Heart Foundation campaign, the Mending Broken Hearts Appeal.
Help us fund ground-breaking research to find
the way to repair damaged hearts and end the suffering caused by