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Air Pollution Linked to Chronic Heart Disease

Posted Jun 28 2012 10:12pm
Posted on June 28, 2012, 6 a.m. in Cardio-Vascular | Environment | Respiratory |

Air pollution, a serious danger to the environment, is also a major health risk, associated with respiratory infections, lung cancer and heart disease. Yariv Gerber, from Tel Aviv University (Israel), and colleagues followed 1,120 first-time myocardial infarction (MI) patients who had been admitted to one of eight hospitals in central Israel between 1992 and 1993, all of whom were under the age of 65 at the time of admittance. The patients were followed up until 2011, a period of 19 years. Air quality was measured at 21 monitoring stations in areas where the patients lived, and analyzed by a group of researchers at the Technion in Haifa. After adjusting for other factors such as socio-economic status and disease severity, the researchers identified an association between pollution and negative clinical outcomes, including mortality and recurrent vascular events such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure. Compared to patients who lived in areas with the lowest recorded levels of pollution, those in the most polluted environment were 43% more likely to have a second heart attack or suffer congestive heart failure and 46% more likely to suffer a stroke. The study also found that patients exposed to air pollution were 35% more likely to die in the almost 20 year period following their first heart attack than those who were exposed to lower levels of pollution.

Noa Molshatzki, David Broday, Silvia Koton, Vicki Myers, Yaacov Drory, Yariv Gerber, et al.  “Cumulative Exposure to Air Pollution, Socioeconomic Status and Post-Myocardial Infarction Outcomes in Central Israel. A Cohort Study” [Abstract P041].  Presented at the Epidemiological Meeting of the American Heart Association;  Circulation. 2012;125:AP041.

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