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Jogging in Traffic Cuts Blood Flow to Heart
Date:9/12/2007

Men with stable heart disease showed effect after brief exposure to diesel exhaust

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Here's a good reason not to take your daily jog during rush hour.

Men with stable heart disease who were exposed, even briefly, to diesel exhaust fumes showed reduced blood flow to their hearts, which can increase the risk of various cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks and arrhythmias.

The levels of pollution simulated in the Scottish study were similar to those found in regular city traffic.

But don't stop running, just do it away from traffic whenever possible, advised an editorial that accompanied the study. Both articles are published in the Sept. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"There is substantial evidence that exercise reduces a person's lifetime risk of developing coronary heart disease, and we would encourage patients with heart disease to undertake regular exercise," said study co-author Dr. Nicholas Mills, a specialist registrar in cardiology in the Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. "We would suggest, however, that wherever possible, patients avoid exercising in heavy traffic."

"This makes it clear that there's almost a switch that can turn on and off when a person is exposed to diesel fuel," said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "Don't jog behind a bus. Don't jog in heavy traffic. If you're exercising outdoors, try to do it at a time when pollution and traffic are at their lowest level, so that would be very early in the morning or significantly into the evening when rush hour has passed."

According to background information in the study, the World Health Organization attributes some 800,000 premature deaths around the world to air pollution.

Previous research has associated short-term exposure to air pollution to
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