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Air Pollution From Traffic Boosts Risk Of Heart Attack

Filed under: Health

Traffic jam

Next time you're in a traffic jam, it might not be a bad idea to huff and puff with your windows UP!

According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, breathing in the fumes from heavy traffic can boost your risk of heart attack for up to six hours.

Air pollution won't start causing heart attacks for just anyone, but could increase the chance of heart attacks in people already at risk.

To discover this revelation, researchers looked at health data from 79,288 people who have had a heart attack between 2003 and 2006 in the United Kingdom.

They then looked at traffic pollution data, including carbon monoxide and ozone levels, in different parts of the country.

After studying and comparing the data, it was determined that the likelihood of having a heart attack was the highest 6 hours after the people studied had been exposed to traffic fumes.

The connection is not entirely clear, but pollution can possibly thicken blood to make it more likely to clot. A co-funder of the study told news sources:

"We know that pollution can have a major effect on your heart health, possibly because it can 'thicken' the blood to make it more likely to clot, putting you at higher risk of a heart attack."

A similar study on the link between heart attacks and traffic suggests that although pollution may have an effect on the heart, it may also be stress!

The researcher presenting her findings during American Heart Association's 49th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease, said:

"One potential factor could be the exhaust and air pollution coming from other cars, but we can't exclude the synergy between stress and air pollution that could tip the scale."

It's pretty hard to avoid traffic if you live anywhere near civilization, so the best way to avoid being at risk at ALL is to lead a healthy lifestyle with lots of exercise and good food!

[Image via WENN.]

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25 Most Polluted Cities Have Cleaner Air Than Last Year!

Filed under: Environment

Los Angeles Smog

Good news! The U.S. Clean Air Act is working!

The "State of the Air 2011" report from the American Lung Association concluded that the air in the nation's 25 smoggiest cities has improved over the last year.

Lung Association President, Charles Connor, said in a statement:

"The progress the nation has made cleaning up coal-fired power plants, diesel emissions and other pollution sources has drastically cut dangerous pollution from the air we breathe."

While it looks like the air is getting cleaner, the report unfortunately still found 154.4 million people (over half the nation's population) live in areas where the air is filled with dangerous levels of ozone and particle pollution.

Yikes! That's not good!

The two cleanest cities were found to be Honolulu, Hawaii and Santa Fe, New Mexico. The most polluted was, you guessed it, El Lay, baby! Ha!

Darn.

[Image via AP Images.]

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