Friday, February 17, 2012

Air pollution leads to heart attack and cognitive decline

Air pollution is not only a serious environmental issue but also a serious health concern and is known to cause adverse health effects. This was confirmed by three latest studies.

The first study done by French researchers concluded that even the short term exposure to major air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter significantly increases the risk of heart attack.

Many people still fail to acknowledge the fact that air pollution is behind many deaths in industrialized countries as one of the leading factors contributing to cardiovascular diseases (the leading cause of mortality in industrialized world).

The second study was conducted by the researchers at Rush University Medical Center and their conclusion was that the chronic exposure to particulate air pollution is likely to accelerate cognitive decline in older adults, especially older women.

This means that air pollution reduction could lead to a significant reduction of the future population burden of age-related cognitive decline such as dementia.

The third study conducted by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found that air pollution, even at levels generally considered safe by federal standards, increases the risk of stroke by 34 percent. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States attributing to more than 135,000 deaths per year.

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