A Few Days of Air Pollution May Trigger Heart Attack, Stroke

Even a few days of air pollution may trigger heart attack, stroke
By Linda Carroll

Short-term exposure to air pollution — just a day or a week in some cases — may kick off a heart attack or stroke, scientists now say.

Two new studies reveal that the risk of heart attack or stroke can jump after high-pollution days, especially for people who already have predisposing health problems.

Up to a week of exposure to most major types of air pollution may be enough to trigger a heart attack, a new analysis published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association finds. Heart attack risk went up by almost 5 percent with high carbon monoxide levels and almost 3 percent with higher levels of air particles for up to seven days.

The risk of stroke jumped 34 percent after 24 hours of exposure to moderate air pollution, according to a study published in the latest issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The increase in stroke risk was greatest within 12 to 14 hours of exposure to fine particulate matter and was most strongly associated with pollution from traffic. (Read more)

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