Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Air pollution and hardening of arteries

Date:
April 23, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Long term exposure to air pollution may be linked to heart attacks and strokes by speeding up atherosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries", according to a new study.

Long term exposure to air pollution may be linked to heart attacks and strokes by speeding up atherosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries," according to a study by U.S. researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

The researchers, led by Sara Adar, John Searle Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health, and Joel Kaufman, Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and Medicine, University of Washington, found that higher concentrations of fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) were linked to a faster thickening of the inner two layers of the common carotid artery, an important blood vessel that provides blood to the head, neck, and brain. They also found that reductions of fine particulate air pollution over time were linked to slower progression of the blood vessel thickness. The thickness of this blood vessel is an indicator of how much atherosclerosis is present in the arteries throughout the body, even among people with no obvious symptoms of heart disease.

"Our findings help us to understand how it is that exposures to air pollution may cause the increases in heart attacks and strokes observed by other studies," Adar said.

The authors reached these conclusions by following 5362 people aged between 45 to 84 years old from six U.S. metropolitan areas as part of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution (MESA Air). The researchers were able to link air pollution levels estimated at each person's house with two ultrasound measurements of the blood vessels, separated by about three years. All participants in their study were without known heart disease.

After adjusting for other factors such as smoking, the authors found that on average, the thickness of the carotid vessel increased by 14 m each year. The vessels of people exposed to higher levels of residential fine particulate air pollution, however, thickened faster than others living in the same metropolitan area.

"Linking these findings with other results from the same population suggests that persons living in a more polluted part of town may have a 2 percent higher risk of stroke as compared to people in a less polluted part of the same metropolitan area," Adar said.

"If confirmed by future analyses of the full 10 years of follow-up in this cohort, these findings will help to explain associations between long-term PM2.5 concentrations and clinical cardiovascular events," the authors wrote.

In an accompanying Perspective, Nino Kuenzli from the University of Basel in Switzerland says: "the [Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution study] further supports an old request to policy makers, namely that clean air standards ought to comply at least with the science-based levels proposed by the World Health Organization."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Adar SD, Sheppard L, Vedal S, Polak JF, Sampson PD, et al. Fine Particulate Air Pollution and the Progression of Carotid Intima-Medial Thickness: A Prospective Cohort Study from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution. PLoS Med, 2013 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001430

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Air pollution and hardening of arteries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423172706.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, April 23). Air pollution and hardening of arteries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423172706.htm
Public Library of Science. "Air pollution and hardening of arteries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423172706.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 15, 2014) Pennsylvania-based Schramm is incorporating modern technology in its next generation oil-drigging rigs, making them smaller, safer and smarter. Ernest Scheyder reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dutch Highway Introduces Glow-In-The-Dark Paint

Dutch Highway Introduces Glow-In-The-Dark Paint

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) A Dutch highway has become the first lit by glow-in-the-dark paint — a project aimed at reducing street light use. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins