Air pollution could increase the risk of heart disease among the general population regardless of their age, a new report released by the American Heart Association (AHA) reveals.
The report says that the link between exposure to air pollution and heart disease has strengthened over the years. "Particulate matter appears to directly increase risk by triggering events in susceptible individuals within hours to days of an increased level of exposure, even among those who otherwise may have been healthy for years," said Dr Robert Brook, from the University of Michigan, lead author of the report. "Growing evidence also shows that longer-term exposures, such as over a few years, can lead to an even larger increase in these health risks."
The report also says that people with heart issues should reduce their exposure to air pollution as much as possible. Traditional risk factors like blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and smoking also need to be controlled, the report added.
Elevated air pollution is a massive risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease. However the reason is not so clear. Experts feel it may have to do something with the inflammation in the arteries caused by polluted air.