There are two types of associations between air pollution and death from cardiovascular disease overall - acute coronary syndromes and ischemic stroke
New Delhi: The horrible air pollution in New Delhi has significantly increased the risk of heart attacks in the citizens, a notable cardiologist said. Dr. Deepak Krishnamurthy, a Senior Interventional Cardiologist affiliated with the Sakra World Hospital in Bengaluru took to X (formerly Twitter) saying that breathing the current quality air in the national capital can lead to heart attacks.
Using various bar diagrams and charts, Dr. Krishnamurthy explained how the contribution of air pollution has threatened the global mortality rate, among multiple factors including PM concentration.
"Air pollution is an important and under-recognized risk factor for cardiovascular events. Heart attack and higher levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) lead to endothelial dysfunction and slow flow in coronaries and systemic inflammation, leading to accelerated atherosclerosis and thrombus (clot formation)," he wrote.
Apart from that, he also showcased the "Exposure-Response relationship of short- and long-term effects of PM2.5 and Ozone with mortality."
Heart attacks and pollution
According to the European Society of Cardiology, there are two types of associations between air pollution and death from cardiovascular disease overall - acute coronary syndromes and ischemic stroke.
Various studies conducted across the world have shown that air pollution triggers heart attacks, stroke, and irregular heart rhythms - especially in people who are already at risk for these conditions. Also, for people with a medical condition called heart failure, air pollution can further reduce the ability of the heart to pump blood the way that it should.
Who is at higher risk?
Doctors say older adults and people with risk factors for heart disease or stroke may be at greater risk. You are at greater risk if you:
- Have had a heart attack, angina, bypass surgery, angioplasty with or without a stent
- A stroke
- Blockages in the neck or leg arteries
- Heart failure
- Heart rhythm problems
- Chronic obstructive lung disease
You may be at greater risk of heart disease or stroke if:
- You are a man 45 years or older, or a woman 55 years or older
- You have a family history of stroke or early heart disease
- You have high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol
- You are overweight or not physically active
- You smoke cigarettes
How to protect your health from heightened pollution?
According to experts, it is important to take care of your overall health when the air pollution levels are extremely high. A few things you can do are:
Regular exercise is important for staying healthy, especially if you have heart disease. By adjusting when and where you exercise, you can lead a healthier lifestyle and help reduce your risk of heart problems or stroke triggered by air pollution.
Walk, bike, or carpool, and make sure to use subways, and public transport more as alternatives to driving your car.
Eat a healthy, heart-friendly diet that consists of fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Make sure to consume protein, and other nutrients to keep the heart healthy.
Whenever going outdoors, make sure to wear an N95 mask to protect against breathing polluted air
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.