Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death in the world
According to numbers of the World Health Organization, in 2015, 17.7 million people died because of cardiovascular disease, representing a 31% of all recorded deaths in the world. Cardiovascular diseases are a compound of disorders of the heart and the blood vessels. These diseases can be classified as: high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, cardiac insufficiency, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease, and cardiomyopathy.
Air pollution is an environmental risk factor that contributes to these diseases. Small particles <2.5 μm or PM 2.5 environment pose a big risk for public health; short term increases can shoot the relative risk of acute cardiovascular disability from 1% to 3% in a few days.
More than 90% of the pollution mass on the mixture we breathe on urban areas comes from gases or vapor compounds, including volatile organic carbons released when burning gasoline, wood, charcoal or natural gases. Ozone is the second most prevalent pollutant, and a series of organic and inorganic acids, volatile organic carbons found on a gaseous state as well as in particles.
Season series and cross-sectioned studies in the whole world have explored the association between the short term changes on air pollution and daily changes on myocardial infarction. A systematic review and a meta-analysis of studies on short term exposition to air pollution and myocardial infarction showed that PM 2.5, combined with nitrogen dioxide (NO²), sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide are associated to a higher risk of myocardial infarction.
On a systematic review and a meta-analysis of 94 studies up to 2014 in 28 countries, an increase of 10μg /m³ on a concentration of PM 2.5 and PM 10 was associated with an increase of 1% of relative risk of hospital admission with a cerebrovascular accident and death by cerebrovascular accident. Additionally, living close to a highway and poverty seem to be associated with ischemic strokes.
The association between air pollution and hypertension has been examined too; at least 4 meta-analyses have been studied, resulting on increases on the environment PM 2.5 by 10 μg / m³ systematically associated with increases from 1 to 3 mm Hg on systolic and diastolic blood pressure during the following days. Long term exposure has been related to chronic blood pressure and with a higher prevalence or incidence of hypertension in many studies as well.
The legal enforcement, backed with technology, objectives and chronograms is important and can be deficient in countries were air pollution control is more necessary. Researchers and providers of medical assistance have developed manuals to diminish polluted air exposure and improving cardio metabolic health biomarkers.
A promising and relatively cheap method is the use of air purifiers. Portable air filters can reduce PM 2.5 levels on interior on a >50% and it is sustained that they improve a growing list of final substitute points that include high blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, inflammatory markers, stress hormones, and metabolomics profiles.
Currently, the strategies for personal protection are limited, because no essay has yet sustained that these strategies reduce clinic events of cardiovascular disease. A call is made to the scientific community and the world health attention; the time to formally prove the benefits of these essays approaches has come. We must think of the future and the environmental conditions of the whole world.
Reviewers: Brenda Giselle Alvarez Rodriguez (Public Health Research Unit), and Cassandra Saldaña Pineda (Knowledge Management Unit).
- Article: “Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease”. JACC (Journal of the American College of Cardiology), 2018-10-23, Volume 72, Issue 17, Pages 2054-2070. American College of Cardiology Foundation
- World Health Organization.