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Air Pollution And Its Impact On Heart

Are you aware? Air pollution can give a tough time to your ticker? Yes, you have heard it right! It can raise your risk of cardiovascular disease. Thus, reducing the exposure to air pollution can be beneficial for your cardiovascular health.

Air pollution and its effect have become a growing matter of concern for all. You will be shocked to know that air pollution can not only invite respiratory infections or lung cancer but it can be harmful to your heart as well.

What is air pollution?

Air pollution can be termed as the mixture of solid particles and gases which are present in the air that can give rise to breathing problems. Moreover, air pollution can arise from several sources like cars, industries, wood-burning, cooking, smoking, and dust. Did you know? It can take a toll on your heart.

How does air pollution impacts the heart?

Are you aware? Airborne pollutants can lead to arrhythmia, stroke, heart attack, and heart failure too. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 25% of all heart deaths are attributed to air pollution, and 2.4 million deaths owing to heart disease occur every year.

Constant exposure to the pollutants may damage the inside walls of your blood vessels due to which they may become narrow or hard. Likewise, it can restrict the movement of your blood vessels and increase your blood pressure by putting a strain on your heart. It can lead to the clotting of blood and cause small changes to the structure of the heart. Not only this, but it also affects the normal electrical functioning of the heart which could result in abnormal heart rhythms. Moreover, this damage can also put people with existing heart conditions at the risk of a heart attack or stroke.  Those dangerous air pollutants can cause cardiovascular diseases like artery blockages and death of heart tissue owing to the deprivation of oxygen leading to permanent damage of the heart.

Keep air pollution at bay

If you have any existing heart conditions then visit your doctor who will tell you how to safeguard yourself from the air pollution. You should avoid going to the areas there is air pollution like near busy roads, industries, and factories. Also, avoid exercising outdoors if you suffer from any heart condition as it can be bad for your heart. You can opt for an indoor workout with the help of an expert.

BY: Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon, Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai

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