By Floro Mercene
Air can lead to big problems for your heart. Pollution can come from traffic, factories, power generation, open fires or even cooking with wood.
Medical researchers are particularly concerned about pollution particles smaller than 2.5 microns, which are usually related to fuel combustion. Because they are so tiny, they aren’t easily screened and more readily enter human body.
They then irritate the lungs and blood vessels around the heart. Data suggest that over time pollutants aggravate or increase the process of disease in the arteries.
Acute short-term effects of air pollution tend to strike people who are elderly or already struggling with heart disease. Studies have shown increases in deaths and hospitalizations when there are high concentrations of smog.
Pollution is also believed to have inflammatory effects on the heart, causing plaque in blood vessels to rupture, triggering a heart attack.
A new study was presented at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting in Anaheim, California on November 14, 2017 said that specifically, people with coronary artery disease who have A, B, or AB blood types are more likely than those with the O blood type to have a heart attack when exposed to high level of PM 2.5 air pollution.
Although this research was considered preliminary, “The association between heart attack and pollution in patients with non-O blood type isn’t something to panic over, but it is something to be aware of,” said Benjamin Horne, lead investigator, from the Intermountain Medical Center in Utah.
The analysis showed that air pollution brought a greater risk of heart attack across the board, but the O-type blood carriers had a smaller risk. Precautions can help heart patients by reducing pollution exposure – remaining indoors during severe pollution.