Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study establishes link between air pollution, ischemic strokes

31.10.2005


The risk of ischemic stroke – which results when a blood clot travels to the brain – increases with a rise in particulate air pollution, according to a study in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. Led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), the findings are described in the October 27, 2005 on-line rapid access issue of the journal.



The study, which examined the air quality on a total of 37,000 days in nine separate cities, found that risk of hospitalization for ischemic stroke was one percent higher on days with relatively high levels of air pollution, compared with low-air pollution days, according to lead author Gregory Wellenius, Sc.D., postdoctoral fellow in cardiology at BIDMC.

"Although these effects sound relatively small, given the large number of people exposed to air pollution and the large number of people at risk for stroke, from a public-health perspective the actual number of strokes [we’re talking about] could be significant," says Wellenius. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., affecting more than 700,000 individuals each year.


Previous work by Wellenius and coauthors Murray Mittleman, MD, DrPH, of BIDMC’s Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit and Joel Schwartz, PhD, of HSPH had established a "consistent increased risk" for cardiac health problems associated with exposure to ambient air particles.

"Air pollution has been shown to trigger heart attacks and to aggravate the conditions of patients with congestive heart failure," says Mittleman, who is also Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "These new findings, demonstrating that incidence of clot-based strokes also increase, is in keeping with our earlier data showing a relationship between air pollution and heart and lung disorders."

(The study also looked at the incidence of hemorrhagic stroke, which is caused by bleeding in the brain, during the same "high pollution" days, notes Wellenius, but found no association between the two.)

The air pollution in question – particulate matter smaller than 10 micrometer in diameter – includes particles from car and truck exhaust, power plants and refineries. The measurements were provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from nine U.S. cities including Birmingham, Ala., Chicago, New Haven, Conn., Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City and Seattle.

The authors analyzed hospital admissions among Medicare patients who represented an average age of 79. Seventy-five percent of the patients were white and 61 percent were female. Their findings showed that during the course of their study, there were 155,503 hospital admissions for ischemic stroke. The final analysis demonstrated a 1.03 percent rise in ischemic stroke on the days with the highest pollution measures.

"We don’t know exactly what mechanisms are involved that trigger these cardiac events," says Wellenius. "However, we do know that particulates in the air promote inflammation, which is a significant risk factor for cardiac events; that exposure to particulates can lead to changes in heart rate and blood pressure; and that pollution can cause changes in coaguable states [blood clotting abilities]."

The authors say that future research will focus on finding out which pollutants are most toxic, and which patients are at greatest risk for health problems stemming from air pollution.

"Taken together with previous work, these latest results support the idea that reducing exposure to particulate matter may reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks," they conclude.

Bonnie Prescott | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bidmc.harvard.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk

17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Only an atom thick: Physicists succeed in measuring mechanical properties of 2D monolayer materials

17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Fraunhofer HHI receives AIS Technology Innovation Award 2018 for 3D Human Body Reconstruction

17.01.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>