People who are themselves exposed to low levels of air pollution are more likely to develop structural changes in the heart, which may be a precursor to heart failure, a British study shows.

While exposure to air pollution has long been associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, it is less well known how pollutants could alter the structure and function of the heart, according to the study team.

The researchers studied data on exposure to traffic-related air pollution and outcomes of cardiac MRI for 3,920 adults who had no cardiovascular disease. They found that previous exposure to tiny particles such as PM2.5, which included dust, dirt, soot and smoke, and nitrogen dioxide, a toxic gas in car exhaust, were associated with enlargement on both sides of the heart.

"Air pollution seems to be detrimental to cardiovascular health, even at a relatively low exposure rate," said lead author Nay Aung of Queen Mary University of London.

Posted in Daily Times, September 16thth 2018th


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