Published on May 30th, 2017 |
by James Ayre
May 30th, 2017 by James Ayre
To add to our growing coverage of research that links common forms of air pollution with various diseases and cognitive problems, new research from the William Harvey Research Institute at Queen Mary University of London has linked exposure to PM 2.5 (fine particulate matter air pollution) to heart damage.
The new research notes, though, that the observed harmful changes to heart structure and function seem to be protected against to a degree by the possession of a degree-level education — presumably because such people aren’t working in conditions with high levels of exposure, and because of access to better nutrition/food, lower stress living environments, etc.
“There is strong evidence that particulate matter (PM) emitted mainly from diesel road vehicles is associated with increased risk of heart attack, heart failure, and death,” states lead author Dr. Nay Aung, a cardiologist and Wellcome Trust research fellow at William Harvey Research Institute at Queen Mary University of London, UK. “This appears to be driven by an inflammatory response — inhalation of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) causes localised inflammation of the lungs followed by a more systemic inflammation affecting the whole body.”
The press release provides more: “The study included 4,255 participants from the UK Biobank, a large community-based cohort study. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging was conducted to measure left ventricular volume (structure) and left ventricular ejection fraction (function). Annual average exposure to PM 2.5 was calculated based on participants’ home address.
“The association between PM 2.5 exposure and heart structure and function was estimated using multivariable linear…