Pollution-cholesterol Link to Heart Disease Seen

More and more evidence is piling up to warn people of the dangers of air pollution on health, particularly on the heart. The Los Angeles Times printed an article by Marla Cone on July 26, 2007 which states: “Strengthening the link between air pollution and cardiovascular disease, new research suggests that people with high cholesterol are especially vulnerable to heart disease when they are exposed to…ultra-fine particles that are common pollutants in urban air.  Microscopic particles in diesel exhaust combine with cholesterol to activate genes that trigger hardening of the arteries….Their combination creates a dangerous synergy that wreaks cardiovascular havoc far beyond what’s cause by the [air pollution] or cholesterol alone.”

In this study (Read the article in its entirety here), scientists say “their study, conducted on human cells as well as on mice, is the first to explain how particulates in the air activate genes that can cause heart attacks or strokes.  The researchers exposed human blood cells to a combination of diesel particles and oxidized fats, then extracted their DNA.  Working together, the particles and fats switched on genes that cause inflammation of blood vessels, which leads to clogged arteries, or atherosclerosis….”Our results emphasize the importance of controlling air pollution as another tool for preventing cardiovascular disease,” said Ke Wei Gong, A UCLA cardiology researcher who was one of the study’s authors.

A very good reason to make sure you have a Health Guardian and keep it running 24/7!