The unexpected connection between air quality and heart health
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, studies have shown that air pollution can trigger heart attacks and strokes.
The threat posed by air pollution is greater among people who have or have had coronary artery disease, angina, heart attack, bypass surgery or an angioplasty, heart failure, stroke or transient ischemic attack, or blockages in the arteries of the neck or legs. People who have internal cardiac defibrillators also may be at greater risk of heart attack or stroke due to air pollution.
While it’s common to assume that air pollution is only a problem for people who live in large cities, the American Heart Association warns against making such assumptions, noting that air pollution can be traced to a host of sources, including wildfires and cooking with wood stoves, that can be found outside of major cities.
The AHA also notes that researchers believe pollution has inflammatory effects on the heart that can cause cardiovascular problems.