FRIDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Fine particles of pollution
that linger in the air can increase the risk of sudden cardiac
arrest, warns a new study.
Researchers compared data about air pollution levels in New York
City and 8,216 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests that occurred in the
city between 2002 and 2006.
They found that a rise of 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air
in small-particle air pollution was associated with a 4 to 10
percent increase in the number of out-of-hospital cardiac
Pollution-related cardiac arrests occurred when particulate
levels were high but still below the current EPA safety threshold
of 35 micrograms per cubic meter of air.
This association was much stronger in the summer months, said
the researchers from the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health
The study appears online Sept. 20 in the
American Journal of Epidemiology.
"Small particulate matter is dangerous to health," study author Dr. Robert Silverman, an associate professor of emergency medicine and director of research in the department of emergency medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, said in a health system news release.
"We need to figure out ways to combat air pollution and decrease the number of high-pollution days," he added.
This study adds to the growing number of studies that suggest
air pollution is bad for the heart.
Earlier this year, the American Heart Association issued a
statement noting that evidence is growing that air pollution is a
risk factor in heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death.
The U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has
air pollution and cardiovascular health.