Study links air pollution to a fib and blood clots in lungs
Air pollution—even limited exposure—can do a number on your heart, according to new research.
The dangers of dirty air aren’t new; the American Heart Association has long cautioned against prolonged exposure to air pollution. A number of studies backing up the AHA’s assertions have concluded that long-term exposure to contaminants in the air can trigger heart disease.
Now, new studies looking at the short-term effects of air pollution on health link atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) and pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in the lungs) to the small particulate matter in air pollution. Small contaminants in air pollution are particularly dangerous. Like stealth bombs, they sneak past the body’s natural barriers and get into the lungs.
Researchers says efforts to lower air pollution or limit exposure to air pollution are critical. And they suggest that those at risk—especially people with heart problems—avoid outdoor activities when air pollution reaches unhealthy levels.