China: acute effects of air pollution on heart disease

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China: acute effects of air pollution on heart disease

The phenomena of atmospheric pollution are the result of a complex competition between factors, which lead to an accumulation of pollutants, and others that instead determine their removal and dilution in the atmosphere. The extent and modalities of emission, the persistence times of the pollutants and the degree of mixing of the air are some of the main factors that produce space-time variations in the composition of the air.

This is one of the problems most felt by the populations of large urban agglomerations, which has only begun to worry since the seventies. Since that time, in fact, in some countries policies have been gradually implemented to reduce chemical agents and numerous other contaminants present in the air.

Generally, atmospheric pollution is more widespread in large cities due to the exhaust gases of public and private vehicles and the heating of buildings, but it is also present in industries that do not have systems for the abatement of atmospheric pollutants.

Due to the atmospheric circulation and the chemical diffusion of pollutants, the phenomenon of atmospheric pollution tends to affect even non-contaminated areas, far from the primary source of pollution. A group of researchers has published a study titled Acute Effects of Air Pollution on Ischemic Heart Disease Hospitalizations: A Population-Based Time-Series Study in Wuhan, China, 2017-2018, on the International journal of environmental research and public health.

Researchers explain: "Evidence of the acute effects of air pollutants on ischemic heart disease (IHD) hospitalizations based on the entire population of a megacity in central China is lacking. All IHD hospitalization records from 2017 to 2018 were obtained from the Wuhan Information Center of Health and Family Planning.

Daily air pollutant concentrations and meteorological data were synchronously collected from the Wuhan Environmental Protection Bureau. A time-series study using generalized additive models was conducted to systematically examine the associations between air pollutants and IHD hospitalizations.

Stratified analyzes by gender , age, season, hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia were performed. In total, 139,616 IHD hospitalizations were included. Short-term exposure to air pollutants was positively associated with IHD hospitalizations.

The age group ≥76 was at higher exposure risk, and the associations appeared to be more evident in cold seasons. PM2.5 and PM10 appe ared to have greater effects on males and those without hypertension or diabetes, whereas NO2 and SO2 had greater effects on females and those with hypertension or diabetes.

The risk of IHD hospitalization due to air pollutants was greater in people without hyperlipidemia. Our study provides new evidence of the effects of air pollution on the increased incidence of IHD in central China."