How air pollution can aggravate heart problemsMarch 10th, 2011 - 1:21 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Mar 10 (ANI): Scientists have shown exactly how air pollution can aggravate heart problems.
They are untangling how the tiniest pollution particles - which we take in with every breath we breathe - affect our health, making people more vulnerable to cardiovascular and respiratory problems.
Scientists showed that in people with diabetes, breathing ultrafine particles can activate platelets, cells in the blood that normally reduce bleeding from a wound, but can contribute to cardiovascular disease.
In the study, Stewart and corresponding author Mark Frampton, tried to tease out some of the details about how air pollution makes bad things happen in the body.
The team studied 19 people with diabetes, measuring how their bodies adjusted to breathing in either highly purified air or air that included ultrafine particles.
Scientists found that after exposure to the particles, participants had higher levels of two well known markers of cardiovascular risk, activated platelets and von Willebrand factor. Both play a major role in the series of events that lead to heart attacks.
“More than anything else, our study offers some direction about where to look for the molecular mechanism or link between air pollution and cardiovascular problems,” said Frampton, who is professor in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division of the Department of Medicine and a professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine.
“People with diabetes or other chronic conditions like asthma should heed the advice to stay inside when air quality is poor. These patients really need to control many factors, and one of them is their exposure to pollution,” he added.
The study was published recently in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives (ANI)
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Tags: air pollution, air quality, asthma, author mark, cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular problems, cardiovascular risk, chronic conditions, critical care division, diabetes, environmental health perspectives, environmental medicine, frampton, heart problems, molecular mechanism, pollution particles, respiratory problems, scientists, ultrafine particles, willebrand factor