Cardiovascular Disease 

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. In 2016 ,there were 17 million premature deaths. 3+ million of these deaths can be attributed to air pollution. In fact, 27% of heart disease deaths can be attributed to air pollution.

Cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide, was responsible for 17 million premature deaths in 2016. More than three million of these deaths can be attributed to air pollution.

How does air pollution hurt my cardiovascular health?

Air pollution, and high levels of PM2.5 and PM10, can hurt cardiovascular health in a variety of ways. It can cause inflammation in the circulatory system, enter the lungs, cause stress, dysfunction, and imbalance in the circulatory system and affect the bloodstream. So, air pollution can increases the risks of blocked blood flow to the heart, heart attacks, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, atherosclerosis, and cardiac arrest. Chronic exposure can also increase the risks of developing hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and atherosclerosis which can compound risks of cardiovascular death.

Air pollution, especially at high levels of PM 2.5 and PM10, hurts cardiovascular health in many ways. It causes inflammation in the circulatory system, also causing stress, dysfunction, and imbalance in the system as it enters the lungs and bloodstream.

What this means? Increased risk of:

  • blocked blood flow to the heart,

  • Heart attacks and heart failure,

  • cardiac arrhythmias,

  • atherosclerosis,  

  • cardiac arrest ,

Exposure also increases risks of developing hypertension or type 2 diabetes, which add on and increase risk of cardiovascular death. 

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How can I protect my cardiovascular health?

There are several ways to reduce the harms associated with air pollution on cardiovascular health.

We’ve put together some ways through which you can reduce harms associated with air pollution.

  1. The first thing to do is reduce exposure. Try to stay indoors when outdoor pollution is high, or reduce physical exertion near main pollution sources (freeways, industrial areas, near fires).

    • One thing to be watchful of here is that indoor pollution can sometimes be dangerous too.

  2. Second is to protect yourself from pollution. Use pollution masks and air purifiers when pollution levels are high. Learn more about pollution masks and purifiers that can help protect you from the damaging effects of air pollution.

In the US, the Clean Air Act increased regulation on particulate matter from industrial plants and vehicles, preventing an estimated 130,000 heart attacks in 2010.

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