Air Pollution Risk – Heart Disease

  • Elevated concentrations of fine particles in the air may transiently elevate the risk of Myocardial Infarction [heart attack] within a few hours and 1 day after exposure.  - Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association
  • Studies have shown a 48% rise in heart attack risk in the two hours after exposure to high levels of air pollution.  - Associated Press and Reuters News Service
  • It is time for organizations concerned with heart health to consider seriously the cardiovascular effects of air pollution when developing and implementing standards to clear the air and protect public health. - Journal of the American College of Cardiology
  • In a study done in Helsinki, Finland, heart patients were exposed to pollution coming from factory smokestacks and the tailpipes of some diesel-powered buses and trucks. These patients were about three times more likely to have ischemia – decreased blood flow to the heart – while exercising after being exposed to pollution.  Two days after breathing in polluted air, the volunteers [continued to have] “significantly elevated” levels of ischemia. Heart rate also increased after exposure to pollution – from an average of 61 to 90 beats per minute.  - Dr. Juha Pekkanen of the National Public Health Institute quoted by Associated Press and Reuters News Service
  • Now we can say, ‘gee, there is a clear linkage between bad air and cardiopulmonary events…. Harmful pollution can [usually] not be seen or smelled.   - Dr. Robert Brook, a specialist in the biology of blood vessels at the University of Michigan.
  • Air pollution increased the risk of heart attack by 8%. - Dr Brent Muhlestein – (Jan 24, 2013 press conference) (See the video here)