What are the health hazards caused by dirty air?
The long-term exposure to air pollution is one of the main causes for cardiovascular diseases and premature death. This is true for low-income countries, as well as for high-income countries.
In a recent study, under the direction of the Oregon State University (OSU), it was found that on a global scale, air pollution is one of the main causes for cardiovascular diseases. It seems to make no difference, whether it is countries with low-or high-income. The results were published in the English journal “The Lancet Planetary Health”.
Data from 157.436 persons were analyzed
The extensive study was based on data from the long-running Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study. The researchers used the data of the period from 2003 to 2018 from 157.436 adults between the ages of 35 and 70 years from 21 countries.
Risk due to PM2. 5 particles
Overall, the researchers observe an increase in all cardiovascular events of five percent per 10 micrograms per cubic meter in the concentration of air pollutants increase in particles under 2.5 microns (PM2. 5). Taking into account the wide range of the world’s recorded concentrations of PM2. 5, so this means that 14 percent of all in the study documented cardiovascular events can be attributed to exposure to PM2. 5 back, according to the research group.
Risks were largely the same
The risks in countries with low and middle incomes were largely identical to the risks in high-income countries. The PURE study also selected several countries from the group with low, medium and high incomes, to close a gap in the existing research, there had concentrated most of the studies on air pollution on people in high-income countries, and relatively low concentrations of air pollution.
Why was the interest in PM2. 5 particles?
In the current study, PM2. 5-particles were investigated, because these are small enough to be deep into the lungs inhaled, where chronic inflammation can cause. These particles originate from a variety of combustion sources, including for example, car engines, fireplaces, and coal-fired power plants.
Results of previous research
Previous research work on the basis of the PURE cohort diseases already found links between the use of solid fuels, and the use of kerosene with cardiovascular. This also included geographic variables, including the question of whether the place of residence of a Person was rural or urban, as well as the General access to high-quality health care in any country.
Effects of cardiovascular diseases
During the data evaluation period of 15 years, suffered seizures No. 9.152 people cardiovascular events, including 4.083 heart attacks and 4.139 impact. There were a total of 3,219 deaths that could be attributed to cardiovascular disorders, report the researchers.
Air pollution increases stroke risk significantly
The strongest connection between air pollution and health effects was seizures, the researchers suggest in the case of the blow. This was in accordance with other research that have associated the risk of stroke with the PM2. 5 pollution, particularly at high concentrations.
Reduction in air pollution would have a major impact
The long-term exposure to fine particulate outdoor air pollution in countries with no matter what income one of the main causes for cardiovascular diseases and premature death. Even a small reduction in air pollution could lead to a significant reduction in disease risk, report the researchers.
It is not necessary to remove the complete air pollution, in order to achieve a positive effect for the health of the people. If the concentration is reduced, the outdoor air pollution is directly associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Prior to the current study, this was still a matter of debate. Because some previous research has suggested that at high concentrations, as observed in many developing countries, the values are very greatly reduced would have to be before a health would be of Benefit.
Air pollution needs to be reduced
Over the period of the study has improved the air pollution in some countries, while it has deteriorated in other countries. Now it remains to be hoped that all States draw their conclusions from the new study results, to achieve faster success in reducing air pollution. (as)
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