Air pollution, particularly, fine dust major cause of cardiovascular disease

air pollution and diabetes

A study has found that air pollution can lead to cardiovascular diseases. Air pollution, and fine dust, in particular, is responsible for more than four million deaths each year. Almost 60 per cent of deaths occur as a result of heart diseases. The large percentage of deaths from cardiovascular disease has prompted an international group of experts from Germany, England, and the USA to analyse the negative effects of air pollution on vascular function in a review article.

Key research questions focused on components of air pollution (particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide) that are particularly damaging to the cardiovascular system and mechanisms that damage the vessels.

Professor Thomas Münzel said, “We are especially worried about ultrafine dust. These particles have the size of a virus. When ultrafine matter is inhaled, it immediately enters the bloodstream through the lungs, is taken up by the vessels, and causes local inflammation.”

“Ultimately, this causes more atherosclerosis (vascular calcification) and thus leads to more cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction, acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and cardiac arrhythmias. Of particular interest is the fact that with regard to the much-discussed diesel exhaust emissions, particulate matter and not nitrogen dioxide (NO2), both of which are produced by burning diesel fuel, have a negative effect on vascular function,” Münzel continued.

“The fine dust particles are chemically formed mainly in the atmosphere from emissions from traffic, industry, and agriculture. In order to achieve low, harmless concentrations, emissions from all these sources need to be reduced,” commented Professor Jos Lelieveld.

The findings have been published in the European Heart Journal.

[“source=thehealthsite”]

Cardiovascular diseases, here’s how exposure to toxic metals can affect your heart health

Cardiovascular Health,Toxic Metals,Lead

Exposure to environmental toxic metals such as arsenic, lead, copper, and mercury has become a major global health concern. The metals like arsenic, lead, copper and cadmium are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.

Arsenic and cadmium, for example, are known carcinogens, but there are increasing suggestions that exposure to toxic metals may be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

To investigate further, an international research team, led by Rajiv Chowdhury at the University of Cambridge, reviewed and analysed the results of epidemiological studies that had looked at the association of arsenic, lead, copper, cadmium, and mercury with coronary heart disease, stroke and composite cardiovascular disease.

They identified 37 separate studies published before December 2017 involving almost 350,000 participants. A total of 13,033 coronary heart disease, 4,205 stroke and 15,274 cardiovascular outcomes were reported across the studies.

The studies were designed differently and were of varying quality, but the researchers were able to allow for that in their analysis. Exposure to arsenic was found to be significantly associated with a 23% greater relative risk of coronary heart disease and a 30% greater relative risk of composite cardiovascular disease, but there was no evidence of an association with risk of stroke.

Exposure to cadmium and copper was also associated with increased relative risks of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease, while lead and cadmium were associated with an increased relative risk of stroke (63% and 72% respectively).

In contrast, mercury was not found to be associated with cardiovascular risk. The researchers point out that their review was solely based on observational data, which might be affected by unmeasured factors, making it difficult to draw firm conclusions about cause and effect.

Nevertheless, they say their findings “reinforce the (often under-recognised) importance of environmental toxic metals in enhancing global cardiovascular risk, beyond the roles of conventional behavioural risk factors, such as smoking, poor diet and inactivity.”

Furthermore, they say their study highlights the potential need for additional worldwide efforts and strategies “to reduce human exposures even in settings where there is a relatively lower average level of exposure (such as many Western countries).”

[“source=hindustantimes”]