Due to our sedentary lifestyle, we have become dependent on modern tools and our health is now at stake. We prefer commuting in air-conditioned cars, we run on the treadmill, which restricts us from inhaling fresh air.

Air pollution is one of the serious concerns in the present scenario. In the urbanised life, air pollution is causing damage to our respiratory system. Headaches and other health-related problems are also the results of air pollution, but did you know that the heart also gets affected and raises the risk of cardiac diseases?

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According to a recent study in the University of Edinburgh and National Institute of Public Health and Environment, by Professor Newby and BHF Intermediate Research Fellow Nick Mills the particulate matter(PM) which gets emitted out from diesel vehicles is highly dangerous for the heart and increases the risk of heart failure. The chambers in the heart get enlarged and thus leads to cardiac arrest. Professor Newby explains:

“In the 1950s, when there was a lot of smog, the problem used to be that particles were big and they stuck in the upper airways. Now these nanoparticles go straight past, deep into the lungs, even into the bloodstream. We have a clear link between air pollution levels and heart attacks, and we believe the particles in the air are the cause of this.”

Ultra-fine nano-particles are the end result of the diesel and petrol cars which pollute the air, which restricts in relaxation and contraction of blood vessels in our body and ultimately increases the risks of a clot inside the heart and leads to several heart attacks. Air pollution can manifest into a number of cardiac problems like systemic inflammation, vasoconstriction and raised blood pressure.

Due to fall in air quality, the people with heart failure are the vulnerable group.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report in March this year, one in every eight of the global deaths is due to air pollution exposure. Air pollution is the world’s only largest environmental health risk.

The most dangerous heart disease is the coronary heart disease which occurs due to the over exposure to pollution especially from diesel vehicles. Therefore, it is recommended by health experts for all the heart patients to avoid staying in polluted places.

Different countries have a different level of air pollution. The air pollution in China is very high and therefore has a number of heart-related problems as compared to other developing countries.

In India, Delhi is another major vulnerable city where the level of pollution is increasing day by day.

Picture by IndiaTimes

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