Exposure to Air Pollution Linked to Higher Heart Attack Risk

A new study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, suggests that exposure to ultrafine particles (UFP) of air pollution can be a trigger for heart attacks.

To investigate the link between UFP and nonfatal heart attacks, the team of researchers analyzed data from air pollution monitoring sites of Augsburg in Germany from 2005 to 2015. They also compared these data with the cases of nonfatal heart attacks in the city during the same period.

The first author of the study Kai Chen, Ph.D., assistant professor at Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, CT, says: “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. Elevated levels of UFP are a serious public health concern.”