Washington: The new study has revealed that rising levels of air pollution increases the risk of getting a heart attack among adults.
The study was set out to confirm the association between levels of particulate matter PM10, which is a marker of general air pollution, and the risk of acute cardiovascular events.
It also examined individual susceptibility to cardiovascular events during high PM10 levels. Data was collected on daily hospitalisations for cardiac events (acute coronary syndrome, acute heart failure, malignant ventricular arrhythmias and atrial fibrillation) and average daily concentrations of PM10 in Brescia during 2004 to 2007.
The study found a significant association between PM10 levels and admission for acute cardiovascular events such as acute coronary syndromes, heart failure, worsening heart failure, paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmias. The effect was linear, with a 3 percent increase in admissions for every 10 microgram increase in PM10.
It was also found that older people, less than 65 years, and men are particularly susceptible to having arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation or acute coronary syndromes at increasing levels of air pollution.
Dr Savina Nodari said that this may be related to a higher prevalence of comorbidities and greater fragility of the cardiovascular and circulatory system associated with ageing.
The study also found that cardiovascular hospitalisation during a higher level of PM10 occurred more often in patients who had previously been hospitalised for a cardiovascular event.
The study will be presented at the Acute Cardiac Care Congress 2013.