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Studies emphasize the importance of reducing air pollution to prevent heart attacks

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According to a preliminary study published at the American Heart Association Science Session 2021, the reduction in US air pollution during the shutdown of COVID-19, which began in March 2020, was associated with a reduction in severe heart attacks. rice field. The meeting will be fully virtualized on Saturday, November. From November 13, 2021 to Monday, the best global exchange of the latest scientific advances, research, and evidence-based clinical practice in cardiovascular science for medical professionals around the world.

Reducing pollution is not only beneficial to the environment, but can also have significant health benefits at the population level, such as the prevention of heart attacks. “

Sidney Aung, BA, Principal Investigator, University of California, San Francisco Fourth Grade Medical Student

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Untreated but modifiable risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking, high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes, as well as physical inactivity and overweight can contribute to and cause heart attack. I have. Previous studies have confirmed that environmental conditions such as air pollution can increase the risk of heart attack.

Surrounding air pollution is widely recognized as an important cause of cardiovascular disease and death, according to a 2020 American Heart Association policy statement citing global studies. In 2017, exposure to particulate air pollution was estimated to be associated with the premature death of more than 7 million people and the loss of healthy life expectancy of 147 million people worldwide.

After the World Health Organization characterized the outbreak as a pandemic in mid-March 2020, shelter-in-place orders to slow the spread of COVID-19 began to be issued in various cities and states in the United States. By April 2020, some states have partially started and will resume. Over the period analyzed in this study (January 2019-April 2020), the number of severe heart attacks was significantly reduced in relation to lower levels of pollution in the surroundings.

According to an international analysis, IQAir’s 2020 World Air Quality Report shows that global blockades to slow the spread of COVID-19 have made the world’s air healthier in 2020. This report is based on the world’s largest database of air pollution on the ground. Aggregate measurement, particulate matter 2.5 data released in real time from ground sensors throughout 2020. In particular, during the early periods of the blockade when people were ordered to evacuate to their place, schools and businesses were closed, vehicles were reduced, and air traffic.

This study reviewed daily pollution measurements from the US Environmental Protection Agency website from January 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020. It focuses on a common type of air pollution called Particulate Matter 2.5. Researchers used the National Emergency Medical Services Information System and US Census records to analyze the frequency of heart attacks in different parts of the United States over the same period.

Overall, 60,722 heart attacks occurred during the study. Every 10 µg / m3 (Micrograms per cubic meter) Particulate matter reduction 2.5 The number of heart attacks was reduced by 6%. This means that there are 374 fewer heart attacks per 10,000 man-years.

“This study emphasizes the importance of reducing air pollution, which can prevent heart attacks,” Aung said. “Also, other than particulate matter 2.5, which may have influenced other researchers and pursued similar studies to support these results, or decreased during the Pandemic blockade. I hope to investigate other forms of air pollutants. “

This study has some limitations. Since it is an observational analysis, the cause and effect could not be clearly demonstrated. We do not evaluate personal level information about age, gender or race. The heart attack in this study was not diagnosed by a doctor, but was identified by a specialist in emergency care and other emergency care services.

“Extensive studies suggest that exposure to air pollutants, ozone, and traffic-related pollutants is associated with an increased degree of atherosclerosis and an increased potential risk of heart attack and stroke. “There is,” said Joel D. Kaufmann, an American chairman. Heart Association’s 2020 policy statement on air pollution.

He said other studies have shown similar relevance. For example, acute heart attacks decreased rapidly after public smoking bans reduced indirect smoking exposure. However, it is unclear what the relationship is between the blockade of pandemics and the reduction of heart attacks.

“It’s possible that other things were happening last year to reduce the triggering of a heart attack, such as a decrease in athletic activity and other stressors as a result of the COVID blockade,” Kaufman of the Faculty of Environmental Studies said. The professor says. Occupational Health Sciences, Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Washington in Seattle.

“If it turns out that a reduction in traffic-related air pollution during COVID lockdown can be meaningfully associated with a reduction in heart attack, it will pave the way for major changes that may help reduce the burden of heart disease. It shows. Reduced the concentration of air pollution and confirmed that it is possible.

“This could enhance the benefits of air pollution reduction as a cost-effective way to improve health,” he said. “It also brings tremendous health benefits now, even if it takes years for climate benefits to occur, reducing fossil fuel burning that needs to be done anyway to combat climate change. It means that it may be. “

The American Heart Association recommends further development of evidence-based policy approaches, continued investment in research, and greater innovation and transformation partnerships to reduce the cardiovascular burden of air pollutants in the United States.

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