Navigation Links
Beijing pollution may trigger heart attacks, strokes
Date:7/21/2008

CHICAGO -- Olympic athletes aren't the only ones who need to be concerned about the heavily polluted air in Beijing. The dirty air may trigger serious cardiovascular problems for some spectators.

Two researchers in pulmonary medicine and critical care at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine warn that for people in certain risk groups, breathing high levels of pollution can cause heart attacks and strokes within 24 hours of exposure and increase the possibility of having blood clots in their legs on the plane home.

The people who are vulnerable include those who already have known cardiovascular disease or risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, lung disease, a current smoking habit or a family member diagnosed with heart disease before age 55.

"If the air quality is bad, you are more likely to have serious heart disease related events," said Gokhan Mutlu, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the Northwestern's Feinberg School and a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "Being exposed to higher levels of pollution may unmask heart disease even if you've never had any symptoms."

WHY POLLUTION CAUSES HEART ATTACKS, STROKES AND BLOOD CLOTS

Mutlu published research in 2007 that showed how pollution triggers heart attacks and strokes. He discovered that microscopic air pollution -- particles less than one-tenth of the diameter of a human hair -- makes the blood thicker and sticky. He found when lungs are inflamed by pollution, they secrete a substance, interleukin-6, which causes an increased tendency for blood to clot.

Previous studies have shown that thousands of people in the U.S. die from strokes and heart attacks within 24 hours of a spike in microscopic pollution from the exhaust of diesel trucks, buses and coal-burning factories.

A more recent study has shown that people who live in polluted areas are more likely to have blood clots in their legs. Traveling long distances by car or plane is known to put people at risk for these clots.

"If you spend a few weeks in Beijing, your blood might become thicker and sticky and then when you fly 12 hours back to the U.S. that further increases your risk. If clots migrate into the lungs and cause pulmonary embolism, that can kill you," Mutlu warned.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AT OLYMPICS

Scott Budinger, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at Northwestern's Feinberg School and a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, offered several ways for people to lower their risk at the Olympics.

  1. Men over 40 should take an aspirin each day to prevent their blood from becoming thick and sticky. While the benefits of aspirin are less certain for women, he said it probably wouldn't hurt for them to take one, too.

  2. Stay indoors during traffic rush-hour periods. "Indoor air pollution levels are always much lower than outdoor, so staying inside will limit your exposure," Budinger said. He cautioned that Beijing's definition of mild pollution would be a pollution alert day in the U.S.

  3. On the plane, especially the return flight, frequently walk up and down the aisles and do leg exercises in your seat to prevent blood from pooling in the legs and clots from forming.


'/>"/>

Contact: Marla Paul
Marla-Paul@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. IDC Awarded Digital Radiography Contract With Beijing Capital Airport
2. Oscar Pistorius Aims to Compete on Level Playing Field at 2008 Beijing Olympics
3. Linkwell Corporations Skin Disinfectant Product Chosen for 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
4. Johnson & Johnson and NBC Olympics Partner to Share the Stories of U.S. Olympic Hopefuls and Their Journeys to Beijing With The Family Room
5. U.S. Soccer Team Putting Vision in Focus for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
6. Experience a Close-Up View of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
7. Linkwell Corporation Selected to Train and License all Disinfectant and Pest Control Professionals in China and for the Beijing Olympics
8. Mesa Labs to Participate in the Health-Care Trade Policy Mission in Beijing on April 23-25, 2008
9. ANSYS Technology Offers Swimmers Best Chance of Success in Build-Up to Beijing Games
10. Linkwell Corporation Begins Training and Licensing Beijing Olympics Disinfection Teams
11. Tianyin Pharmaceutical to Present at Roth Third Annual China Discovery Tour in Beijing on May 20, 2008 at 12:40 p.m. Beijing Time
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme mood ... something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was a ... children and say he was going to kill them. If we were driving on ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. ... accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, ... and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils and ... essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic counselor ... National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. , ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Nevada (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Vegas client, The Grove Investment Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing operations ... in Las Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Venture Construction Group (VCG) ... held on June 20th at the Woodmont Country Club at 1201 Rockville Pike, ... organization dedicated to helping service members that have been wounded in battle and their ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... , June 26, 2016 ... care operating models within the health care industry is ... financial efficiency , Deloitte offers a suite of ... business issues impacting efficient cost optimization: labor resource analysis, ... These services facilitate better outcomes and better economics ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Calif. , June 24, 2016  Global ... a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the ... needs, today announced the closing of its previously ... common stock, at the public offering price of ... the offering were offered by GBT. GBT estimates ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... DUBLIN , June 24, 2016 ... addition of the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart ... Integrated Photovoltaics Structural electronics involves ... as load-bearing, protective structures, replacing dumb structures such ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: