Traffic Related Air Pollution and the Right Ventricle: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis(Abstract, Peter J Leary, Joel D Kaufman, R Graham Barr, David A Bluemke, Cynthia L Curl, Catherine L Hough, Joao A Lima, Adam A Szpiro, Victor C Van Hee, and Steven M Kawut, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Mar. 7, 2014)
Also discussed here: Traffic-related air pollution associated with changes in right ventricular structure, function(Science Daily, Mar. 7, 2014)
And here: A New Study Shows How Fossil Fuel Pollution Damages The Heart(Jeff Spross, ThinkProgress, Mar. 7, 2014)
Today we review research into the health impacts of traffic-related air pollution on the heart, specifically the right ventricle which has not been studied as much as the left. Results indicate exposure to nitrogen dioxide- one of the main hazardous pollutants from vehicle emissions (along with particulate matter from diesel vehicles) causes the right ventricle to expand and this is linked to heart attacks and cardiovascular death.
“increased exposure to nitrogen dioxide went along with a roughly 5 percent increase in the mass of the heart’s right ventricle, as well as changes in the blood flow through the ventricle.”
“Although the link between traffic-related air pollution and left ventricular hypertrophy, heart failure, and cardiovascular death is established, the effects of traffic-related air pollution on the right ventricle have not been well studied…Greater right ventricular mass is also associated with increased risk for heart failure and cardiovascular death.”
“Using estimated exposure to outdoor oxides of nitrogen at the homes of participants over the year preceding MRI, the authors found that increased exposure to nitrogen dioxide was associated with an approximately 1.0 g (5 percent) increase in right ventricular mass and a 4.1 mL (3%) increase in right ventricular end-diastolic volume.”
“The morphologic changes in the right ventricle of the heart that we found with increased exposure to nitrogen dioxide add to the body of evidence supporting a connection between traffic-related air pollution and cardiovascular disease,”