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Air Pollution Increases Risk of Heart Disease in Women, Study Finds

The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that has discovered a significant link between the air pollution around a woman’s home and the risk of her developing heart disease.

Only women were studied, but researchers believe that air pollution has the same effects on men as well. Women however, are at greater risk for heart disease in general, because their arteries are narrower and can become blocked more easily.

More than 65,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79 living in 36 different U.S. cities for nine years were studied by researchers in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational. When the study began, none of the women had heart disease. When the study was finished, the frequency of heart disease among participants in the different cities was studied along with information on local air quality. What they discovered was a substantial link between the density of particulate matter in the air and the occurrence of cardiovascular disease.

Lead researcher Joel Kaufman of the University of Washington says “These soot particles … are typically created by fossil-fuel combustion in vehicles and power plants, ” “The tiny particles – and the air pollutant gases that travel along with them – cause harmful effects once they are breathed in.”

The average particulate levels which varied city to city, ranged from four to nearly 20 micrograms per cubic meter of air. An increase in particulate concentration of 10 micrograms corresponded to a chance of a woman dying from cardiovascular causes, including heart attacks and strokes of 76 percent.

Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director for the British Heart Foundation says the British Heart Foundation is funding research on how to minimize the harm from air pollution. “This adds to the mounting evidence that air pollution should be taken seriously as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease,” he said. “In the meantime,” he said, “when localized air pollution is particularly high, people with … coronary heart disease should avoid staying outside for long periods.”

Where is the government in all of this? Nowhere to be found. Clearly they have the power to enforce stricter emissions for a situation such as this where people’s lives are at risk.

It’s unfortunate that the reality of it all is that the government is a business concerned more with making money than protecting the lives of people.

Folks, there are natural ways to protect yourself. For example, Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects against the harmful effects of pollution and helps prevent cancer. If you reside in an area where the air pollution is high, begin increasing your intake of Vitamin C immediately.

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