Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Air pollution raises risk for dangerous arrhythmias among people with ICDs


Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues from Boston area medical institutions have linked short term high pollution concentrations with an increased incidence of irregular and very dangerous heart arrhythmias among a group of cardiac patients from the greater Boston area who had implanted cardioverter defibrillators (ICD). The findings appear in the June 1, 2005 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.

"Particulate pollution and gaseous pollution from automobiles, diesel engines and power plants have long been associated with causing serious problems for people with heart conditions," said Doug Dockery, lead author of the study and professor of environmental epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. He continued, "In this study we wanted to see if there’s an increased risk of ventricular tachyarrhythmias, a very dangerous and rapid beating of the heart which can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. We monitored a group of Boston area residents at high risk of sudden cardiac death if not for their implanted defibrillators."

Between 1995 and 2002 the researchers monitored 203 Boston area patients from the Tufts University New England Medical Center who had implanted cardioverter defibrillators for episodes of tachyarrhythmias. Information on arrhythmias was recorded in the ICDs and retrieved during the patients’ regular clinical follow-up visits. Air pollution levels were measured at up to10 sites in the Boston metropolitan area for ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur and nitrogen dioxide and at the Harvard School of Public Health for fine particles.

The researchers found a significant association of air pollution with an increased risk of ventrical tachyarrhythmias among patients who had experienced any kind of arrhythmia three days prior to the episode, particularly when levels of particulate air pollution, black carbon, nitrogen dioxide (all linked with motor vehicle emissions) and sulfur dioxide (linked to power plants) were present. The finding suggests that air pollution provokes ventricular tachyarrhythmias among people with acutely predisposed conditions. The researchers calculated that the ICD patients had a risk of potentially life threatening ventricular tachyarrhythmias linked with fine particulate pollution five times higher for risk of cardiovascular death than the people in the general public. For the highest risk patients, those with a recent ventricular arrhythmia episode, the increased risk for a new ventricular tachyarrhythmias was 97 percent for each 10 microgram per cubic meter increase of particulate pollution.

Dockery added, "What we found suggests that air pollution may act in combination with electrical instability of the heart to increase the risk for ventricular tachyarrhythmias. The data that ICDs collect on episodes of arrhythmias provides a significant resource for understanding the role of air pollution in triggering these events."

Kevin C. Myron | EurekAlert!
Further information:

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: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>