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Air Pollution Raises Risk of Heart Disease

Posted May 16 2013 10:09pm
Posted on May 14, 2013, 6 a.m. in Environment Cardio-Vascular

A number of previous studies suggest an association between road traffic and heart disease.  Hagen Kalsch, from West-German Heart Center (Germany), and colleagues, analyzed data from the German Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study, involving 4,814 participants, mean age 60 years.  Their proximity to roads with high traffic volume was calculated with official street maps, their long-term exposure to particle pollutants assessed with a chemistry transport model, and road traffic noise recorded by validated tests. The participants' level of atherosclerosis was evaluated by measurement of vascular vessel calcification in the thoracic aorta, a common marker of subclinical atherosclerosis (known as TAC), by computed tomography imaging.  The team found that small particulate matter (PM2.5) and proximity to major roads were both associated with an increasing level of aortic calcification:  for every increase in particle volume up to 2.4 micrometers (PM2.5) the degree of calcification increased by 20.7% and for every 100 metre proximity to heavy traffic by 10%. The study also found a borderline increase in TAC for night time noise (of 3.2% per 5 decibels).  The study authors conclude that: “[thoracic aortic calcification]is associated with incident coronary events and all-cause mortality independent of traditional [cardiovascular] risk factors in the general population.”

Kalsch H, Lehmann N, Berg MH, Mahabadi AA, Mergen P, Möhlenkamp S, Bauer M, Kara K, Dragano N, Hoffmann B, Moebus S, Schmermund A, Stang A, Jöckel KH, Erbel R.  “Coronary artery calcification outperforms thoracic aortic calcification for the prediction of myocardial infarction and all-cause mortality: The Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study.”  Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2013 Mar 6.

  
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Tip #162 - Halt High Blood Pressure
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (Tennessee, USA) researchers report that an increased intake in minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium by dietary means may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and decrease blood pressure in people with hypertension. A high intake of these minerals in the diet may also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. According to the study, if Americans were able to increase their potassium intake, the number of adults with known hypertension with blood pressure levels higher than 140/90 mm Hg might decrease by more than 10% and increase life expectancy. Similar studies show that diets high in magnesium (at least 500 to 1,000 mg/d) and calcium (more than 800 mg/d) may also be associated with both a decrease in blood pressure and risk of developing hypertension.

To boost your dietary intake of potassium, magnesium, and calcium, try these foods:

• Vegetables: broccoli, bok choy, spinach, beet greens, turnip greens, okra, artichoke, potatoes, carrot juice, and sweet potatoes

• Legumes: black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, great northern beans, lentils, navy beans and soybeans

• Dairy: cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, and yogurt

» MORE
 
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