Besides health hazard to respiratory system air pollution also causes number of cardio vascular adverse effects in the form of increased number of heart attack and death. There are numerous studies which have clearly demonstrated the numerous long term and short term adverse effect on cardio vascular system by virtue of their numerous pollutants in the form of fine particulate matter and ozone.In addition to long term risk, short term exposure to air pollutants (both ozone and fine particulate matter (<2.5 micrometre in diameter) has been associated with acute coronary ischemic events commonly known as heart attack. Meta-analysis of data from 34 studies correlated an increase in acute heart attack (Acute Ischemic Coronary Events). Carbon mono-oxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide and particulate matter (<2.5 micro) were all associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction to the extent of 1 to 5 percent population risk.
How does fine particulate air pollutants cause increase in cardiovascular risk?
- Air pollution increases mean resting blood pressure through increase in sympathetic tone
- Air pollution leads to endothelial dysfunction and transient increase in Plasma viscosity which may lead to intra vascular thrombosis
- Air pollution initiates and promotes premature arthrosclerosis
Thus in the early 21st century air pollution has emerged as a potentially modifiable risk factor for development of cardiovascular disease and increased death due to cardiovascular diseases. Before it engulfs the mankind let us act aggressively to check air pollution so that our citizens may be saved from premature arthrosclerosis, heart attack and death.
When should you consult a doctor?
If you are experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms, you need to consult a specialist at the earliest:
- Wheezing and difficulty in breathing
- Chest pain
- Persistent cough
- Eye problems
- Skin issues
You need to take special care of yourself if you are obese, have an inactive life and are diabetic. It is advised that you use a special mask for your morning walks.