Research Links Air Pollution During Rush-Hour Traffic to Heart Disease

Professor Robert Storey, a corresponding author for a paper published in the European Society of Cardiology, reports that air pollution is a pervasive environmental risk factor that poses enormous global health threats. He and fellow European Society of Cardiology members reveal that air pollution causes over 3 million worldwide deaths annually.

They advise heart disease patients and those at risk of developing this major killer to avoid spending time outdoors in rush-hour traffic. These experts also advocate decreasing fossil fuel usage to protect the public’s health.

Identifying the Problem

Ample evidence associates outdoor air pollution with worsening current heart patients’ conditions, leading to cardiac disease in healthy people, and contributing to premature deaths. Unfortunately, research shows that the air pollution/cardiovascular risk factor connection is bi-directional. Pollutants might exacerbate hypertension and impaired insulin sensitivity while increasing diabetic and obese people’s cardiovascular disease risks.

The authors note that indoor air pollution plays a significant role. When outdoor pollutants enter buildings, most exposure tends to occur inside. The indoor air quality in workplaces, community facilities, homes, and schools can be problematic. Fossil fuels also contribute to air pollution and greenhouse gases in major ways.

Avoiding Health Consequences

Luckily, air pollution is the ninth most adjustable disease risk factor before inadequate exercise, high-sodium diets, and elevated cholesterol levels. Steering clear of air pollution whenever possible can help manage and prevent cardiovascular disease. The authors urge heart patients and other people with high risks of developing cardiovascular disease to take measures that decrease their air pollution exposure through:

  • Avoiding walking and biking on high-traffic streets, especially around rush hour
  • Working out in secluded park and garden areas that are distant from major roads
  • Limiting time outdoors during high-pollution periods, particularly for people with cardiac and respiratory disorders, the elderly, and infants
  • Using a filtered ventilation system in high-pollution vicinities to clean the indoor air at home

Storey hopes that cardiologists will include these warnings in their lifestyle advice for heart patients. Taking your primary cardiovascular drugs or secondary preventative medications can help reduce air pollution exposure’s possible adverse effects. Buy your prescriptions for these and other medical conditions from our licensed Canada Drug Pharmacy. Learn how convenient and affordable using a foreign pharmacy can be.

These recommendations should encourage government entities to make air pollution regulation a priority. Policymakers can address this urgent need by decreasing outdoor pollution limits, which also will minimize indoor pollution. The authors urge legislators to encourage or require planning authorities to incentivize housing developments located farther away from polluting industries and high-traffic roads. Using sources other than fossil fuels to produce energy also could provide major health benefits from reducing air pollution exposure to mitigating climate change.

Preventing Heart Disease

Dr. Om Ganda, M.D., and the Mayo Clinic offer helpful ways to lower your heart disease risk.

Don’t smoke.

Any smoking amount is unsafe. Even smokeless tobacco, low-nicotine and low-tar cigarettes, and secondhand smoke are risky. The chemicals in smoke can harm your heart while narrowing your blood vessels, which may lead to atherosclerosis and heart attacks. Carbon monoxide replenishes some of your blood’s oxygen. Your heart must struggle to provide adequate oxygen, elevating your blood pressure and heart rate. Quitting smoking drops your heart disease risk to be near a nonsmoker’s in around five years.

Regulate your weight.

Carrying excess pounds and fat, especially around your waist, can lead to conditions that strain your heart and increase your cardiac disease chances. Losing only five to 10 percent can help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol while reducing your diabetes risk.

Be physically active.

Engage in moderate-intensity exercise for 30 to 60 minutes most days. If you’ve been sedentary, start out slowly and increase your workout intensity, time, and frequency gradually.

Follow a heart-smart diet

. Eat high-fiber foods like fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Low-fat protein sources like beans and fatty fish including salmon or mackerel can decrease your heart disease risk. Skip trans fats from fried fast foods, baked goods, packaged snacks, and margarine. Limit saturated fats from red meats, dairy products, and oils like palm and coconut. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

Lower your bad cholesterol.

Healthy plant-based fats from nuts, olives, olive oil, and avocados reduce your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which in turn protects your heart.

Control your blood sugar.

Maintaining healthy glucose levels can protect your heart while preventing numerous diabetic complications.

Sleep well.

Not getting enough quality sleep can raise your risk of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and heart attack. Maintain a regular sleep s