Car emissions linked to Neonatal Heart Attack

Car emissions linked to Neonatal Heart Attack, how increase in population is costing lives.

A major form of cardiovascular disease worldwide is myocardial infarction. Yale University researchers discovered that even a few hours of exposure to air pollution-common ultrafine environmental particles could lead to a nonfatal cardiac attack.

Ultrafine particulate matter (UFPs) is 100 nanometers larger or smaller, and the primary source of UFPs in urban areas is vehicle pollution.

The study was published in Environmental Health Outlook journal.

The research is considered to be the first epidemiological study of UFP effects and heart attacks, based on particle number and surface and particulate duration concentrations at hourly exposure intervals.

“This study confirms something believed long ago-small air pollution particles may play a role in severe heart disease, particularly for the first couple of hours of exposure,” said Kai Chen, Ph.D., Yale School of Public health assistant professor and the first study author. “Significant public health concerns include higher UFP levels.”

Because of the small size, the large surfaces per unit of mass, and its ability to penetrate cells and enter the blood system, UFP constitutes a health risk. “In an epidemiological study in the 1990s, we were the first to explain UFP’s effect on the health of asthmatics,” reported Annette Peter, Director of Helmholtz Center Munich and co-author of this paper.

“Since that time there have been approximately 200 additional studies published, but there are not enough epidemiological evidence to conclude the causal relationship.”

In part, due to the different sizes and exposure measures examined in order to characterize UFP exposure, the lack of consistent results in epidemiological studies. Chen and his collaborators were also interested in determining whether transient UFP exposure could trigger heart attacks as well as improving the investigation of the UFP-related health impacts with alternative metrics such as particulate length and surface area concentrations.

Chen has reviewed data in the registry of all non-fatal MI cases in Augsburg with colleagues from Helmholtz Center Munich, Augsburg University Hospital, and the Nördlingen Hospital. Between 2005 and 2015, the study examined more than 5,898 patients with a non-fatal heart attack.

Data on the time of the heart attack and adjusted for a range of other elements such as day of the week, long term trend and socioeconomic status were compared to air pollution UFP data.

“This is a major step towards the understanding of the appropriate indicator for ultra-fine particulate exposure when determining the short-term health effects, given that the effects of particulate lengths and surface levels were greater than the concentration of particulate number and remained identical after adaptation to other air pollutants,” said Chen. “We will discuss potential studies of cumulative hourly exposures to air pollution and extreme temperatures, and classify vulnerable sub-populations in terms of diseases preexisting and consumption of the medications.”

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