Air Pollution Leads to Cardiovascular Diseases

Air pollution is responsible for more than four million deaths each year with almost 60 per cent of deaths occurring as a result of cardiovascular diseases.

Full article published by Science Daily 22 Aug 2018 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180822122829.htm.

The large percentage of deaths from cardiovascular disease has prompted an international group of experts from Germany, England, and the USA to analyze the negative effects of air pollution on vascular function in a review article published in the latest issue of the European Heart Journal.

Key research questions focused on components of air pollution (particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide) that are particularly damaging to the cardiovascular system and mechanisms that damage the vessels.

Scientists around Professor Thomas Münzel, Director of Cardiology I at the Department of Cardiology at the Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), reviewed the mechanisms responsible for vascular damage from air pollution together with scientists from the UK and the USA. Their findings have been published in the latest issue of the European Heart Journal.

“This report…is another important contribution from our Working Group on Environment and Cardiovascular Disease. In summary, it can be said that in relation to the vascular damaging effect of air pollution, particulate matter plays a prominent role,” commented Professor Thomas Münzel.

“We are especially worried about ultrafine dust. These particles have the size of a virus. When ultrafine matter is inhaled, it immediately enters the bloodstream through the lungs, is taken up by the vessels, and causes local inflammation. Ultimately, this causes more atherosclerosis (vascular calcification) and thus leads to more cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction, acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and cardiac arrhythmias. Of particular interest is the fact that with regard to the much-discussed diesel exhaust emissions, particulate matter and not nitrogen dioxide (NO2), both of which are produced by burning diesel fuel, have a negative effect on vascular function,” Münzel continued.

“The fine dust particles are chemically formed mainly in the atmosphere from emissions from traffic, industry, and agriculture. In order to achieve low, harmless concentrations, emissions from all these sources need to be reduced,” commented Professor Jos Lelieveld from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (MPIC) in Mainz.

 

Read the full article as published on Science Daily 22 Aug 2018 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180822122829.htm.

Journal Reference: Thomas Münzel, Tommaso Gori, Sadeer Al-Kindi, John Deanfield, Jos Lelieveld, Andreas Daiber, Sanjay Rajagopalan. Effects of gaseous and solid constituents of air pollution on endothelial function. European Heart Journal, 2018; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehy481

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