Exposure to air and noise pollution may increase the risk of heart failure, according to the American Heart Association.
The researchers collected data from 22,000 individuals and measured their exposure to air and noise pollution by maintaining records of each individual’s residential addresses.
The analysis of various pollutants and their effects on heart failure revealed that:
‘We were surprised by how two environmental factors – air pollution and road traffic noise – interacted,’ said Youn-Hee Lim, PhD, lead author of the study.
‘Air pollution was a stronger contributor to heart failure incidence compared to road traffic noise; however, the women exposed to both high levels of air pollution and road traffic noise showed the highest increase in heart failure risk.
‘In addition, about 12% of the total study participants had hypertension at enrollment of the study. However, 30% of the nurses with heart failure incidence had a previous history of hypertension, and they were the most susceptible population to air pollution exposure.
‘To minimize the impact of these exposures, broad public tactics such as emissions control measures should be implemented. Strategies like smoking cessation and blood pressure control must be encouraged to help reduce individual risk.’
In related news, even small increases in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels could be linked to a heightened risk of cardiovascular and respiratory deaths, according to a new study published by The BMJ.
Photo by jesse orrico