Posts Tagged "air pollution"

air pollution 3Air pollution is known to increase the risk for stroke and other cerebrovascular disorders. But now researchers have found it is also linked to premature aging of the brain.

The study, in the May issue of Stroke, used data on 943 men and women over 60 who were participants in a larger health study. Researchers did M.R.I. examinations and gathered data on how close the people lived to major highways. They also used satellite data to measure particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers, or PM 2.5, a form of pollution that easily enters the lungs and bloodstream.air pollution 1

After controlling for health, lifestyle and socioeconomic factors, they found that compared with people exposed to the lowest levels of PM 2.5, those with the highest exposure had a 46 percent increased risk for covert brain infarcts, the brain damage commonly called “silent strokes.”

They also found that each additional two micrograms per cubic meter increase in PM 2.5 was linked to a decrease in cerebral brain volume equivalent to air pollution 2about one year of natural aging.

“We’re seeing an association between air pollution and potentially harmful attacks on the brain,” said the lead author, Elissa H. Wilker, a researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “This helps us to better understand the mechanisms related to air pollution and clinically observed outcomes.”

Source: New York Times

pollution 1Air pollution — even for just one day — significantly increases the risk of stroke, a large review of studies has found.

Researchers pooled data from 103 studies involving 6.2 million stroke hospitalizations and deaths in 28 countries.

The analysis, published online in BMJ, found that all types of pollution except ozone were associated with increased risk for stroke, and the higher the level of pollution, the more strokes there were.

Daily increases in pollution from nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter were associated with corresponding increases in strokes and hospital admissions. The pollution 3strongest associations were apparent on the day of exposure, but increases in particulate matter had longer-lasting effects.

The exact reason for the effect is unclear, but studies have shown that air pollution can constrict blood vessels, increase blood pressure and increase the risk for blood clots. Other research has tied air pollution to a higher risk of heart attacks, stroke and other ills.

Source: New York Times

gym 1With chilly weather settling in and darkness arriving before most people’s workdays end, many of us are shifting our workouts indoors, a practice that is much better for us than abandoning exercise for the winter. But a new study of air quality in gyms raises some interesting questions about whether the places in which we work out are as healthy as they should be.

Science and common sense tell us that exercising in polluted air is undesirable. People who frequently run alongside heavily trafficked freeways and breathe great lungfuls of exhaust have been shown to have an increased risk of heart disease, even if they are otherwise in admirably good shape. But few studies systematically have examined the air quality inside gyms.gym 2

Therefore, from the journal Building and Environment, researchers at the University of Lisbon in Portugal and the Technical University of Delft in Holland decided that they would place air-quality monitoring equipment in gyms throughout Lisbon. … Their findings were disquieting. In general, the gyms showed high levels of airborne dust, formaldehyde and carbon dioxide. The concentrations of these substances generally exceeded most gym 3accepted standards for indoor air quality. (No government agency in the United States formally monitors air quality in gyms.) The levels were especially high during evening aerobics classes, when many people were packed into small studios, stirring up dust and fumes and puffing heavily, producing carbon dioxide with every breath. … In sufficient concentrations, these substances can contribute to asthma and other respiratory problems, she said. Almost all of the gyms in the study had levels of these substances that significantly exceed European standards for healthy indoor air standards.

Source: New York Times

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