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Air pollution's tiny particles may trigger heart attacks
TIWN
Air pollution's tiny particles may trigger heart attacks
PHOTO : TIWN

New York, Feb 16 (TIWN) Researchers have found that even a few hours' exposure to ambient ultrafine particles common in air pollution may potentially trigger a non-fatal heart attack.

Myocardial infarction is a major form of cardiovascular disease worldwide. Ultrafine particles (UFP) are 100 nanometers or smaller in size. In urban areas, automobile emissions are the primary source of UFP.  The study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives is believed to be the first epidemiological investigation of the effects of UFP exposure and heart attacks using the number of particles and the particle length and surface area concentrations at hourly intervals of exposure.  "This study confirms something that has long been suspected -- air pollution's tiny particles can play a role in serious heart disease. This is particularly true within the first few hours of exposure," said Kai Chen, Ph.D., assistant professor at Yale School of Public Health and the study's first author. "Elevated levels of UFP are a serious public health concern."

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