Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. While lifestyle choices such as smoking or eating high-fat foods can trigger stroke or heart attacks among patients already living with heart problems, a new study finds air pollution could also spark heart trouble.
The trials, conducted by scientists from Tufts Medical Center and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, discovered that exposure to high levels of air pollution can cause people with pre-existing heart problems to be prone to the development of irregular heartbeats, which can trigger more serious heart-related issues. Researchers reviewed the heartbeats of 176 patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), which record the heart's rhythm, among other things, and compared their heartbeats to where they live.
Overall, scientists noticed the rate of patients' heartbeats greatly varied by the amount of air pollution they were exposed to on any given day. While there could be other reasons behind the change in heartbeats, researchers are looking closer into the idea that air pollution could be to blame.
People with heart conditions living near high-traffic areas might want to invest in an air purifier like the IQAir GC Multigas to breathe better and protect their hearts while at home.