First, they can irritate the lungs and then the blood vessels around the heart. Finally, long-term exposure has the potential to increase the risk of artery disease.
So, the researchers analyzed the health data of three hundred and twenty-two adolescents with an average age of seventeen. These study participants were initially recruited between 2002 and 2006 when they were between the ages of six and twelve. Then, the team followed up with the participants seven and a half years later.
Additionally, the PM2.5 concentration measured during the study was well below the minimum air quality standard set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Regardless of that, though, the study ultimately revealed that seventy-nine percent of the adolescents suffered from at least one irregular heart rhythm during a twenty-four-hour study period.
“It is alarming that we were able to observe such a significant impact of air pollution on cardiac arrhythmias when the air quality remained well within the health-based standards established by the EPA,” said He.
Moreover, He believes that the study– which has solidified a link between increased risk of cardiovascular disease and sudden cardiac death in healthy teens– may call for new health safety practices amidst subpar air quality across the nation.
“Protective measures, such as wearing masks and avoiding vigorous physical activities, may be warranted on days that particulate matter concentration is high– especially during early morning rush hours.”
To read the study’s complete findings, visit the link here.
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