According to a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) study, individuals should arrange outside time around air quality to maintain heart health.
The ESC Preventive Cardiology findings were published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health on Thursday and uploaded on the ESC website.
The study’s author, Dr Michal Swieczkowski of the Medical University of Bialystok in Poland, stated that mortality from cardiovascular disease increased on polluted days and two days later.
“When staying home is not an option, wearing a mask during peak pollution hours and avoiding areas with heavy traffic should be considered,” he said.
According to Swieczkowski, the study looked at the link between air pollution and cardiovascular disease death, namely acute coronary syndromes and ischemic stroke.
According to him, the study was carried out in five cities in eastern Poland, and mortality data from 2016 to 2020 were collected from the Central Statistical Office.
“Concentrations of particulate matter (PM)2.5, PM10, and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were gathered from the Voivodeship Inspectorate for Environmental Protection.
“The main sources of these pollutants are road traffic and household heaters using coal or wood.
“A time-stratified case-crossover study design was used where for each participant, the researchers compared levels of each pollutant on the day of the week a death occurred (e.g. Wednesday) with pollutant levels on the same day of the week without any deaths (e.g. all remaining Wednesdays) within the same month.
“Using within-participant comparisons between days in the same month eliminated the potential confounding effects of participant characteristics and time trends.
“Similar analyses were conducted for pollution levels one day and two days before a death occurred,” he said.
During the five-year research, there were 87,990 deaths, with cardiovascular disease, acute coronary syndromes, and ischemic stroke accounting for 34,907, 9,688, and 3,776 deaths, respectively.
“The results show worrying associations between air pollution and death from cardiovascular disease,” he said.
Policymakers, according to Swieczkowski, should examine steps to promote clean air, such as subsidies for updating residential heating systems and vehicle-free zones.
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