Air Pollutants Found To Damage Blood Vessels

Dec 26, 2008 by

Air Pollutants Found To Damage Blood Vessels

Air pollution is bad for the lungs, the nose and the throat. That is pretty obvious.

Now, a study earlier this year, conducted by the University of Southern California, has shown that it directly damages blood vessels too.

The study found that ultra-fine air pollutants, which are themselves highly reactive molecules, generate free radicals as they make their way into blood vessels. This causes an immediate decrease in coronary flow as well as affects the beating function of the heart.

Dr Jeffrey Anderson, an Utah cardiologist, said that damage by pollution to the heart and blood vessels is becoming very obvious. “And they are so small that they can exchange into the circulation of the blood as they pass through the lungs, circulate around, and cause injury to the blood vessels as they go along. That induces inflammation,” he said.

The results of this study add to those of another study by Brigham Young Unversity and Intermountain Medical Center. They had studied what happened to people who were already suffering from cardiovascular conditions, even when the pollution on a particular day did not reach ‘red alert’ levels.

“For every 10 micrograms per meter square that the pollution level increases, which is a very modest amount, the risk of a heart attack on that day or within plus or minus one or two days goes up five percent. If that goes up 10-fold, which is possible on some of our bad days here, that risk can increase 50 percent on that day or within two or three days of that time,” said Dr Anderson.

If you or a loved one has heart problems, please take note!
Even if you didn’t, it would still be an excellent idea to make sure that you are breathing in good, clean, high quality air.

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