Tuesday, March 29, 2016

How does the Level of Air Pollution Affect the Risk of Strokes?

Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year...
Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year (DALY) rates from Cardiovascular diseases by country (per 100,000 inhabitants). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Number of strokes increase as pollution levels rise (Abstract, Hui Liu, M.S.; Xuan Yang, M.P.H.; Feng Jia, B.Sc.and Mingquan Wang, American Stroke Association, Feb. 17, 2016)

Also discussed here: Number of strokes increase as pollution levels rise. (Science Daily, Feb. 17, 2016)

And here: Stroke Prevalence Linked to Poor Air Quality (Nancy A. Melville, Medscape Medical News, Feb. 19. 2016)

 Today we review research into the links between higher levels of particulate pollution in the two countries with the highest emissions in the world, China and the USA, on the frequency of strokes. Results indicate that the number of strokes rose 1.19% for each 10 ugm/m3 increase of PM 2.5. Also the number of strokes were higher in regions of each country with higher annual PM2.5 (the American South compared to the West). Longer episodes of extreme heat, as a result of climate change, contributes also to more strokes.

 Key Quotes:

“Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States killing nearly 129,000 people every year, and is a leading cause of disability. Worldwide, the prevalence of stroke stood at 33 million, with 16.9 million people suffering their first stroke, and is the second-leading cause of global death behind heart disease.”

“the total number of stroke cases rose 1.19 percent for each 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air (µg/m3) increase of PM2.5.”

“the southern region of America had the highest average annual PM2.5 while the West had the lowest - which correlates with the fact that people living in the South had the highest prevalence of stroke at 4.2 percent compared with those in the West who had the lowest at 3 percent,”

"Seasonal variations in air quality can be partly attributable to the climate changes,…In the summer, there are lots of rainy and windy days, which can help disperse air pollution. High temperatures create a critical thermal stress that may lead to an increased risk for stroke and other heat- and air quality-related illnesses and deaths."

"patients with stroke are in danger of dehydration due to high temperatures in the summer, and are in danger of suffering from pneumonia, influenza and other respiratory diseases in winter. Women and the elderly also appear more vulnerable to stroke risk due to air quality and heat-related diseases.

" “Exposure to PM2.5 even over the course of a few hours to weeks can trigger cardiovascular disease–related mortality and nonfatal events, the statement concludes, and longer-term exposure increases the risk for cardiovascular mortality to an even greater degree.”

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