Smog Contributes to Dangerous Heart Rhythm
TUESDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The role that air pollution
plays in heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) that can cause sudden
death may be underestimated, according to researchers.
A small study of 25 healthy people without heart disease found
detectable changes in the heart's electrical system when the
participants were exposed to polluted air.
The findings suggest that air pollution may interfere with the
heart's ability to reset its electrical properties in an orderly
manner, said the researchers. This can lead to arrhythmias, which
can cause sudden cardiac death in some people.
The fact that air pollution can have this effect on healthy
people indicates that people with heart disease may be at even
greater risk from air pollution than previously believed, the study
They called for more research into the link between air
pollution and arrhythmias, along with greater physician awareness
and participation in efforts to increase public knowledge about the
danger and to reduce air pollution.
The study appears in the Jan. 11 issue of the
Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
The U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has
air pollution and cardiovascular disease.
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