As air pollution increases, so do your chances for a heart attack. A study of air pollution levels in Europe shows that as air pollutants become more prevalent, so does heart disease.
“In the last few decades there has been a worrying increase in air pollution,” warns researcher Savina Nodari. “Regardless of local environmental and social policies to approve air quality, the negative effect of air pollution continues to be an important public health problem.”
Nodari’s studies show that as ultrafine pollutants known as PM10 increase, so do hospital admissions for acute cardiovascular events like acute coronary syndromes, heart failure, worsening heart failure, paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmias. For every 10 microgram increase in PM10, there is a 3 percent increase in hospital admissions.
Nodari believes: “Air pollution is a big problem because we can’t protect people if we are unable to improve the air quality where they live. To protect public health, national policies need to consider other sources of energy for cars, industry and domestic use which may include electricity, wind energy, photovoltaic systems or nuclear energy. Many people think nuclear energy is not a good alternative and I agree, but we have such high levels of air pollution now that we have to seriously look at the alternative options.”