Friday, March 12, 2010

POLLUTION AND THE HEART

I read something rather interesting recently. Firstly I knew that there was a society called Cardiovascular Disease Epidermiology but I never knew that there was a society for Prevention, nutrition, physical activity and metabolism ( PNAM ). These two societies held their conjoint annual scientific meeting at San Francisco recently. Amonst the many papers presented were two that caught my attention. Dr Asghar Fakhri n coleagues at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, presented a paper on the effects of air pollution ( measured as the distance between a highway or main road, on heart disease. Studying a cohort of 187 subjects and using coronary arteriography ( I do not know how they justify it to the insurance company ), they found that the nearer ( <100m>25% stenosis ( not the suaul criteria). I suppose they were trying to pick out very early disease.
The second paper in the same vein was presented by Dr Joel Schwatz of Harvard Medical School, Boston, who presented the findings of his study of Normative Aging ( whatever that means ). He studied 939 subjects and found that pollution was associated with an increase incidence of Hypertension, ECG abnormalities ( including ST-T changes ) and also an increase incidence of atrial fibrillation.
Well I must advice caution in accepting the results. The conclusion is much too simplistic and obviously, more work needs to be done. Suffice to say that both papers come from very distinquished medical schools and so cannot be taken likely. There is probably an effect of " pollution and stress" in people who commute and use the highway alot. Whether it is pollution per se, or just the stress of commuting and travelling long distances, is not so well defined. Sometimes staying near your place of work is also stressful.
well, here you are. Early rsults seem to indicate ( vaguely ) that pollution maybe associated with heart disease.

2 comments:

Sonnet said...

Thanks for this important post. I think radiation is mportant risk factor for congenital heart disease. Also some materials such as white phosphorus and depleted uranium is a potential cause of CHD.

Sonnet said...

http://tabibqulob.blogspot.com/2010/01/war-on-gaza-not-finished.html