Air pollution may raise atherosclerosis, heart disease death risk

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A new study provides additional evidence that pollution may affect our cardiovascular health.

Studies have linked air pollution with the risk of developing a range of conditions, from neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s to diabetes and atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries.

For instance, early last month, Medical News Today reported on a study by researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions in New York, which linked long-term exposure to air pollution with the risk of atherosclerosis in six cities across the United States.

Now, the same lead author, Meng Wang, has carried out similar research in China, making this new study the first to examine pollution and coronary artery calcification among Chinese adults.

Wang and team set out to examine whether “air pollution and proximity to traffic” correlate with coronary artery calcium score, a key marker of atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis refers to the buildup of plaque inside the artery walls, which, over time, may lead to serious cardiovascular conditions, such as high blood pressureheart disease, and heart attacks.

Studying air pollution and artery health

Wang and colleagues examined data on 8,867 Chinese people aged between 25 and 92 years. The participants all had suspected coronary heart disease, and the team recruited them in 2015–2017.

The researchers assessed the coronary artery calcium and coronary heart disease score of each participant and excluded anyone who had had a myocardial infarction, stenting procedure, or coronary artery bypass surgery in the past. They also excluded those for whom the data on risk factors and exposure to pollution were insufficient.

Wang and team estimated the annual levels of pollution at the participants’ residences by calculating their nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and fine particulate matter levels using a standard geostatistical prediction model.

In this case, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) describes particles with an aerodynamic diameter smaller than 2.5 micrometers that are very easy to inhale.

Particulate matter, or particle pollution, refers to “a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets,” including “dust, dirt, soot, or smoke,” that can be present in the air and that a person cannot see with the naked eye.

In the new study, the researchers also estimated the participants’ proximity to traffic, looking at the distance of their residences from nearby roads.

Pollution may raise heart disease death risk

The research revealed that for each nitrogen dioxide increase of 20 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3), the risk of a high coronary artery calcium score rose by 24.5%.

Additionally, for each increase of 30 μg/m3 of PM2.5 that the participants had exposure to in their apartments, there was an increase of 27.2% in the coronary artery calcium score.

“This finding should contribute to an understanding of air pollutant effects worldwide, providing both much-needed, locally generated data and supportive evidence to inform the air pollution standard-setting process on a global scale,” comments Wang.

This study may provide evidence that coronary atherosclerosis is a pathological pathway through which air pollution exposure increases risk of death from coronary heart disease.”

The lead author goes on to explain: “Atherosclerosis is a lifelong process. As such, the effects of air pollution exposure on atherosclerosis are likely to be chronic.”

Give a man a fish he will eat for a day, but teach a man to eat the right kind, he will live healthy forever. Known for providing high nutritional value, fish is one of the most preferable seafood. These sea creatures are enriched with good fats and protein. Since ages, they have been touted to fight heart diseases and boost mental health. But choosing the right type of fish from a wide range is definitely a task. Here is a list of popular fish types that will help you determine what type of fish you should eat…
• Salmon

Salmon is packed with omega 3 and boosts heart health. Farmed salmon is cheaper than wild salmon so people recommend the former over latter. But wild salmon is definitely high in vitamin and mineral content. According to the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, the larger and older the salmon fish, the more mercury it will contain. Hence, it is advised to eat fresh salmon.

Tuna

Tuna is enriched with vitamin B12 and D, and is packed with calcium and iron. It contains low-fat protein. Kids and pregnant women are often recommended to eat light varieties of tuna fish. Also, canned tuna is high in sodium so if you are specific about your salt intake, then canned tuna may not be a healthy choice.

• Cod

Considered as one of the world’s healthiest foods, this scaly fish is a great source of vitamin B12 and omega 3. Cod is the best substitute for meat protein and fights against various health diseases. It is beneficial for people who suffer from atherosclerosis and have a diabetic heart condition. Most importantly, Cod fish benefits cardiovascular health. Many studies have proven that people who eat fish have a good heart condition and have lower chances of heart attacks than those who don’t consume it.
Trout

Eating fresh water trout is always the best choice. This fish contains omega-3 fats, which benefits heart health. Health experts recommend rainbow trout over wild trout as rainbow trout is raised and protected from contaminants.

• Herring
This fish is somewhat similar to sardine fish. An excellent source of vitamin D and zinc, herring has a delicate flavour with soft flesh. Making herring fish a part of daily diet keeps red blood cells healthy. The protein found in herring fish serves as a source of amino acids, required to produce haemoglobin in the body.

Sardines
This is an oily fish which is high in vitamin content. Sardines provide more nutrition as it is consumed with its skin and bones. A few health benefits of Sardines include protection against the heart diseases; prevention from certain types of cancer, and helps in strengthening bones. It strengthens the immune system and keeps blood pressure under control.
Crayfish
Crayfish is similar to tiny lobsters. They turn bright red when cooked and are juicy when eaten. They are one of the healthy species and contain a low amount of fat content. Crayfish is high in vitamin B, and minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium.
Catfish
Catfish offers a variety of health benefits. Apart from its flavour, it helps you meet the nutrition needs. It is enriched with vitamins and healthy fats. Catfish has low-calorie content and fat, and including catfish in your diet is a healthy option. It contains healthy fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6. The Environmental Protection Agency has listed catfish as the most consumed fish due to its low mercury content). It also contains vitamin B12, which aids our body nervous system.

Withdrawal symptoms is the term used to describe the activity that takes place when after a person’s body has adapted to a particular drug or alcohol or activity, he/she cannot seem to do without such activity and as such removes his/her self both physically, emotionally from an activity or a group. Withdrawal symptoms are not dependent on a particular gender or specific group of people; it is found either in young or old, male or female. It comes when after a lengthy period of time that the brain has been accustomed to a particular drug or activity, it ‘misses’ the presence of such drug or activity and as such rebounds by producing a surge of adrenaline that causes withdrawal symptoms.

Mental and Emotional Symptoms include;

  1. Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Restlessness, and irritability.
  2. Depression
  3. Insomnia
  4. Poor concentration or poor memory.
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