Air pollution 'increases risk of a stroke'

15 February 2012

A new study has suggested that air pollution could be increasing the chance of people suffering from heart problems.

According to the research, which was led by Gregory Wellenius, of the Centre for Environmental Health and Technology at Brown University, pensioners are more likely to suffer from a stroke if they live in a city centre.

In order to determine the findings, the study involved investigating the medical records of 1,705 women living in the US city of Boston, in which their health was compared on days exposed with 'moderate' air pollution to days with 'good' rates of pollution.

Results of the research, which were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, highlighted that people were 34 per cent more likely to suffer a stroke during moderate days than during good periods.

Mr Wellenius acknowledged: "In conclusion, these results suggest that particulate matter exposure increases the risk of ischemic stroke at levels below those currently considered safe under US regulations."

According to The Stroke Association, strokes are currently the third most common cause of death across England and Wales, with cancer and heart disease the only two more severe conditions.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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