Heart Attacks and the Environment
According to the American Heart Association, “studies have demonstrated a consistent risk for cardiovascular events in relation to both short- and long-term exposure to present-day concentrations of ambient particulate matter.”
Increasingly, investigators both in the United States and abroad have shown relationships between exposure to short and long term exposure to particulate air pollution and the increased risk of myocardial infarction, referred to as heart attack, and other forms of coronary heart disease. A number of studies have reported associations between air pollution and hospitalizations for heart attacks and other forms of heart disease. For example, researchers have demonstrated increases in heart attack hospitalization rates in relation to fine particles (PM2.5), particularly in sensitive groups, such as the elderly, patients with pre-existing heart disease, survivors of heart attack, or people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.