So air pollution can damage your heart – National


According to research polluted air does not damage more lungs, but affects your heart.

Heart conditions are responsible for the huge proportion of the millions of deaths caused by air pollution worldwide every year.

In a document published in the European Heart Journal, it was found that air pollution caused an additional 8.8 million deaths in 2015, and between 40 and 80 percent of these are due to cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack and stroke .

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In Canada, an estimated 14,400 deaths are attributed to air pollution annually. The second Canadian study in the same year had a lower score: 7.700.

"For a long time, it has been found that although in the forest of morbidity caused by pulmonary disease due to air pollution, most fatalities due to air pollution are caused by cardiovascular diseases," said Dr. Christopher Carlsten, professor of medicine and director of the air. a laboratory for exposure to pollution at the University of British Columbia.

The bad air containing harmful gases and particles moves from your lungs into your cardiovascular system in three main ways, he said.

When pollution enters the lungs, it can cause inflammation. This inflammation can then spread through thin lung tissue into the bloodstream, circulating and can cause cardiovascular problems such as heart or stroke.

There is increasing evidence that tiny particles in pollution can enter the bloodstream directly and cause damage, he said.

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"The common common pathway to a heart attack is something that irritates the mucous membranes of the arteries and then causes the release of fatty plaques, also known as atherosclerosis," says Dr. Sonia Anand, a professor of medicine at McMaster University, who has a heart and a stroke. Chair for the health of the population. Pollution can be so irritating.

Air pollution is also related to the nervous system, Carlsten said. Because the nervous system controls the heart, this can cause heart rhythm disturbances, according to a statement on the position of the heart and stroke.

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It is difficult to say precisely how much air pollution increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, said Michael Brauer, a professor at the UBC Public and Public Health School that studies the global effects of air pollution.

"There is no air pollution," he said. "You can not do the tests. Never show up on the death card.

"These health problems caused by air pollution are health problems, which are also contributed by other things."

The risk of coronary heart disease – a condition in which narrowed arteries can cause heart attack – depends on your diet, your physical activity, or you smoke – and probably also because of air pollution, he said. "At the end of the day we can not say if your diet or air pollution was a straw that broke the back of the camel."

"It's not at all the right way to think about it. Everybody contributes. If you remove one, others are still there. "

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Infants, the elderly and people with existing heart disease will most likely be adversely affected by air pollution, said Carlsten.

Unfortunately, studies have shown that the risk of cardiovascular conditions is substantially increased even at relatively low levels of exposure to pollution. "It does not require nearly as much contamination as we thought it would cause harmful effects."

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So, what can you do about it?

Anand said that the research is still too new, so that doctors will regularly ask you about exposure to contamination in the same way as you are asking if you are a smoker. "Indeed, this is a relatively new risk factor for cardiovascular disease to the extent that we do not get involved in our risk assessment for an individual patient," she said.

"I do not think we have enough information about how this would change your management."

"Would it be enough to recommend to an individual to move from the environment or something so radical?"

Better studies on things like wearing masks outside or installing an air filter in your home would reduce the risk, which would help physicians determine what they should tell their patients.

Carlsten believes it is important not to impose an entire burden on the individual to prevent air pollution. "We all need to be part of the community lobbying process with our elected officials and let them know that climate change is a real problem. Climate change is very closely linked to air pollution and we can no longer wait for serious action. "

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However, it advises you to familiarize yourself with patterns of air pollution in your area and to avoid spending a lot of time in places where there is a lot of pollution – like on the highway. And if the authorities proclaim a day of pollution, they think you need to avoid training outside. "Exercise leads to a very high increase in exposure due to contamination due to deeper breathing."

In order to reduce the risk of developing heart disease in general, Brauer recommends that you become as healthy as possible.

"If you feel as healthy as possible, then air pollution is less likely to lead you over the edge," he said.

But collective measures to reduce air pollution would help more, he thinks.

"If you cut it down a bit, they all benefit, and that's a measurable thing."

© 2019 Global News, Corus Entertainment Inc.


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