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Air pollution linked to heart problems

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 10 months ago

A new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal has found a direct relationship between air pollution and irregular heartbeat problems such as atrial fibrillation. The researchers looked at health information for more than 190,000 people and air pollution data from China between 2015 and 2021. The study found that air pollution increased the risk of atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, atrial and ventricular premature beats, and supraventricular tachycardia. The increased risk from air pollution exposure typically subsided after 24 hours, with nitrogen dioxide having the strongest impact on someone’s odds of having arrhythmia. The study found that air pollution had the biggest impact on men, on people younger than age 65, and during colder seasons. The authors of the study noted that there was no minimum air pollution level that appeared to trigger symptoms. In all of their calculations, as air pollution increased, so did the odds of having arrhythmia. The researchers wrote that the results highlight “the importance of further reducing exposure to air pollution and of prompt protection of susceptible populations worldwide.” Previous studies of air pollution’s impact on heart rhythm problems have had mixed results, although the authors noted that many of the studies had problems with how they were designed. This latest study’s goal was to examine the relationship between air pollution and the start of irregular heartbeat problems, collectively known as arrhythmias, at an hourly level. The study gives people at risk of heart problems a good reason to keep an eye on the daily air quality warnings often included in weather reports.

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