Poor air quality increases patients' risk of heart attack

Poor air quality increases patients' risk of heart attack

People with heart disease face an increased risk of a serious heart attack during poor air quality days, according to a major new study presented today at the American Heart Association Scientific Session in Orlando.

The study of more than 16,000 patients by researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City examined patients who had suffered three types of heart attacks -- STEMI, non-STEMI, and unstable angina -- to identify which type of heart attack was more likely on days when the air was especially polluted. For the study, researchers compared air quality measurements to the number of patients treated for heart attacks at Intermountain Healthcare hospitals in the urban areas in and around Salt Lake City between September 1993 and May 2014. The Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute research team identified a strong association between bad air quality days -- those with a threshold above 25 micrograms of fine particulate matter per cubic meter of air -- with a greater risk of STEMIs, the most dangerous type of heart attack. Findings of the study were reported at the 2015 American Heart Association Scientific Session in Orlando on Sunday, November 8, 2015. "Our research indicated that during poor air quality days, namely those with high levels of PM2.5, patients with heart disease are at a higher risk of suffering from a STEMI heart attack," said Kent Meredith, MD, cardiologist and researcher at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute.
Read More: ScienceDaily
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