Arterial Disease

Heart Attacks




Some Topics

  • Air Pollution

    Exhaust from all combustion engines combine to produce local adverse effects on the health of car users and all innocent bystanders. Cities have become islands of toxic chemicals from the unrestrained use of vehicles burning fossil fuels.

    Air pollution, both indoor and outdoor, is a significant cause of health problems worldwide. Urban and rural outdoor environments contain allergens, irritants and toxins that can reduce the quality of life and cause disease. Inhaled air pollution is directed at the the nose, throat and lungs. The exposed airway allows hazardous pollutants to enter the body and all tissues are ultimately exposed.
    Air pollution was first noticed as problem of city dwellers, poisoning themselves, but more recently, air pollution is acknowledged as a problem of global significance. The tolerance for environmental destruction is ancient and human history is littered with civilizations that failed because humans exploited natural resources and spoiled their own nest. Humans adapt easily to deteriorating conditions and will persist in following daily routines even when air pollution is severe, traffic is congested, water and food supplies are at risk, and social order is unstable.

    Fine-particulate air pollution is known to contribute to cardiovascular and lung disease, increasing the risk of heart attacks and a heart-related death. Researchers at Brigham Young University and Harvard School of Public Health compared changes in air pollution from 1980 to 2000 with residents’ life expectancies. They concluded that a reduction in air pollutants in 51 U.S. cities between 1980 and 2000 added an average of five months to life expectancy. Residents in cities that made the most significant improvements in air quality, such as Pittsburgh, PA, lived almost 10 months longer. For every microgram per cubic meter decrease in fine-particulate air pollution, life expectancies rose by more than seven months.

    Airborne chemicals contaminate food and water. Airborne chemicals contaminate food and water sources. Airborne chemicals are ingested; they collect in the nose and throat and are swallowed, often in mucus that attempts to protect exposed surfaces. Airborne chemicals entering the digestive system include well-known toxins such as pesticides, organophosphate, PCBs, dioxin, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. In addition occupational exposures to airborne pathogens can be intense and can cause cancer.

    Vehicle Emissions

    Driving a car is the most polluting act an average citizen commits. Cars and trucks have two opposite personalities. One is friendly and attractive the other is destructive and can be lethal. Emissions from passenger vehicles are going up in Canada and the US despite attempts to make engines more fuel efficient and despite the addition of antipollution devices. The main reason is that cars are getting bigger and pick-up trucks and sports vehicles are often replacing smaller, lighter passenger cars. The average new vehicle in 2001 consumed more fuel that its counterpart in 1988. In the USA in 1987 cars averaged 25.9 miles to the gallon. Fuel efficiency dropped to 24.6 miles/gallon by 1998 and is dropping further as larger vehicles replace smaller ones.

    Air pollution is associated with increased hospital admissions for cardiovascular diseases with increases in acute morbidity and mortality. D'Ippoliti et al studied 6531 patients in Rome who were hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction from January 1995 to June 1997. Air pollution data were taken from 5 city monitors. Positive associations were found for total suspended particulates, NO2 and CO. The strongest and most consistent effect was found for total suspended particulates.

    Increases in fine particulate matter air pollution increase the risk for myocardial infarctions, strokes, and heart failure. For example, particle deposition in the lungs activates the sympathetic nervous system and triggers the release of systemic pro-inflammatory responses. Brook and Rajagopalanb stated: "Higher circulating levels of inflammatory cytokines cause vascular endothelial dysfunction and activation of vasoconstrictive pathways while blunting vasodilator capacity. At the molecular level, the generation of oxidative stress with the consequent up-regulation of redox sensitive pathways appears to be a common mechanism of these pro-hypertensive responses. Due to the ubiquitous, continuous and often involuntary nature of exposure, airborne fine particles may be an important and under-appreciated worldwide environmental risk factor for increased arterial Blood Pressure.

    vovKlot et al conducted a multicenter study involving 22,006 survivors of a first myocardial infarction in European cities. Air concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, and particles (PM10) were measured: 6655 cardiac readmissions were observed. Cardiac readmissions increased in association with same-day concentrations of PM10. Effects of similar strength were observed for carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone, They concluded that air pollution is associated with increased risk of hospital cardiac readmissions of myocardial infarction survivors in 5 European cities.

    Simkhovich et et al confirmed that epidemiologic studies show that increased levels of air pollutants are positively associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. They stated:`nhalation of air pollutants affects heart rate, heart rate variability, blood pressure, vascular tone, blood coagulability, and the progression of atherosclerosis. Major mechanisms of inhalation-mediated cardiovascular toxicity include activation of pro-inflammatory pathways and generation of reactive oxygen species. Although most studies focus on the influence of systemic effects, recent studies indicate that ultrafine particles may be translocated into the circulation and directly transported to the vasculature and heart where they can induce cardiac arrhythmias and decrease cardiac contractility and coronary flow.`

  • Topics from the book Heart & Arterial Disease The author is Stephen Gislason MD 2018 Edition: 190 Pages

    Major diseases originate from eating too much of the wrong food and damage is done to many organs simultaneously. The evidence does suggest that some interventions are beneficial in terms of preventing heart attacks and strokes and that disease progression can be halted by important changes in diet and increased exercise. The occurrence of a heart attack or stroke confirms that atherosclerosis is advanced, damage has been done and that the rules of intervention have changed. We suggest that a prudent person suffering early vascular dysfunction symptoms would be wise to pursue vigorous, thorough diet revision at the earliest opportunity.

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