Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rapid rise in nitric oxide increases heart attack risk

16.02.2018

There is longstanding evidence that the presence of high levels of air pollutants in the atmosphere in particular nitrogen oxides are harmful to health causing respiratory problems and increasing the risk of a heart attack. In a current study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, scientists at the Jena University Hospital report that a rapid rise in nitric oxide levels within 24 h increases the short-term risk of a heart attack. Such dynamic changes in concentrations of air pollutants are not covered by current statutory limits.

The study results from Jena are in keeping with outcomes reported by the European Environment Agency (EEA) of loss in life years due to disease resulting from exposure to ambient nitrogen dioxide. Over 800,000 life years were lost in Europe in 2016 according to the EEA.


A rapid rise in air pollution by nitric oxide increases the risk of a heart attack.

Picture: M. Szabó/ Jena University Hospital

Internal combustion engines of motorised vehicles, in particular diesel engines, and domestic heating systems are the major sources of the pollutant. Due to their negative impact on health, levels of air pollutants are closely monitored via a dense network of stations throughout Europe to ascertain that the standard 1-hour limit threshold of nitric oxides (NO_X) of 200 μg/m³ and the limit value for the annual mean nitric oxide concentration of 40 μg/m³ are not exceeded.

The recently published study from Jena shows that a rapid increase in nitric oxide levels in the air increases the risk of a heart attack. For the study, scientists’ evaluated data from 700 patients treated for acute myocardial infarction at the Jena University Hospital between 2003 and 2010.

Medical data from patients was compared to emission data relating to changes in the levels of nitric oxides (NO_X/2), ozone (O₃), and particulate matter (PM₁₀) over a 24 hour period before occurrence of the first heart attack symptoms. Atmospheric pollution parameters for Jena were obtained from the Thuringia State Institute of Environment and Geology.

Jena, a city in Central Germany with a population of approximately 100 000 was chosen as a study setting since with the exception of a few days per annum, it generally meets the current European threshold values for all measured air pollution parameters.

The study in Jena showed that the risk for a heart attack was directly related to the change in the level of nitric oxide in the air 24 h before the occurrence of symptoms. "This strong association surprised us as it is almost linear," said Dr Florian Rakers, senior author of the study.

Prof. Matthias Schwab, Senior Consultant at the Department of Neurology and co-author of the study explained, "The acute risk of heart attack in our study approximately doubled when the nitric oxide concentration increased by 20 micrograms per cubic meter within one day.”

“Such rapid increases in nitric oxide concentrations can occur several times a year even in supposedly clean cities, as seen in Jena and is probably due to unusually high traffic volume or to meteorological factors favouring smog development," stated Dr Rakers.

For particulate matter and ozone concentrations, the results were less clear. "Although in our study, a relationship between a rapid increase in particulate matter and ozone levels and the acute risk of heart attack was not confirmed, high concentrations of both pollutants are particularly detrimental to patients with lung diseases," emphasised Prof. P. Christian Schulze, Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine I and co-author of the study.

This study increases the knowledge on health hazards presented by nitric oxide. "The risk of a heart attack not only increases when people are exposed to high nitric oxide concentrations in the ambient air over short or long time periods, but also when the nitric oxide concentration rises rapidly. It is appears that nitric oxide presents a health threat even in “clean” environments where threshold values of air pollutants are generally not exceeded. Because of the clinical relevance of our findings, there is an urgent need for both larger scale studies and studies in other geographic regions. The knowledge could ultimately contribute to introduction of threshold values for dynamic changes in the level of air pollutants in Europe and worldwide," adds Dr Florian Rakers.

Original paper:
Rasche M, et.al. Rapid increases in nitrogen oxides are associated with acute myocardial infarction: A case-crossover study, 2018, Eur J Prev Cardiol, doi: 10.1177/2047487318755804

Contact:
Dr Florian Rakers
Dept. of Neurology, Jena University Hospital
email: Florian.Rakers[at]med.uni-jena.de

Dr. Uta von der Gönna | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uniklinikum-jena.de

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Research offers clues for improved influenza vaccine design
09.04.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Injecting gene cocktail into mouse pancreas leads to humanlike tumors
06.04.2018 | University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

Im Focus: The Future of Ultrafast Solid-State Physics

In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.

Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Diamond-like carbon is formed differently to what was believed -- machine learning enables development of new model

19.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Electromagnetic wizardry: Wireless power transfer enhanced by backward signal

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Ultrafast electron oscillation and dephasing monitored by attosecond light source

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>