According to a new report high levels of air pollution can trigger a heart attack within two hours of exposure and the risk can last for more than 24 hours. Researchers say that exposure to high levels of tiny particles of air pollutants increased the risk of a heart attack by 40 to 60 percent.
The groups of people who are most vulnerable are those already at risk for heart disease. This would include elderly individuals and also people who have other risk factors for heart disease, including people who are overweight, smoke cigarettes, people who have a poor diet particularly high in fat and people who know they have high blood pressure.
It would be prudent for people who understand that they have a high risk for a heart attack, even in the absence of this air pollution association, to try to avoid excessive exposure to outdoor air on those days when the air quality is poor say researchers.