A heart attack occurs when an area of heart muscle is permanently damaged because of an inadequate supply of oxygen to that area. Pollution and weather influence the outcomes after a heart attack, revealed a study. Aneta Cislak, research fellow at the Medical University of Silesia in Zabrze, Poland, said, "We performed our research in Silesia, the most urbanized and industrialized region in Poland. One of the possible explanations for this finding is that air pollutants like carbon monoxide bind irreversibly to hemoglobin and impair blood oxygen transport. This can cause hypoxia and lead to worse clinical status and less successful treatment."
The researchers examined the relationship between environmental factors and severity of clinical status and short-term prognosis in patients with non- ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndromes (NSTE ACS). These included NSTE myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), heart attack and unstable angina. The study enrolled 2,388 patients who were admitted for NSTE ACS between 2006 and 2012.
The research team found that patients with high risks of heart attack, bleeding and low left ventricular ejection fraction were admitted on warmer, sunnier, drier and windy days with higher carbon monoxide and ozone air concentrations. Cislak said, "These were the sickest patients. The findings may be explained by the fact that their organs may be more sensitive to weather changes, leading to de-compensation."
It was observed that the treatment was more frequently successful when the weather was sunnier and less windy but colder and with lower concentrations of ozone, carbon monoxide and nitric oxides.
The study was presented at European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2015 in London this week.