Air Pollution linked to heart attacks

London: A UK government report has found a link between traffic fumes and deaths and other hospital admissions for heart disease.

The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution concluded that pollution could trigger heart attacks and strokes and warned that the public should be concerned.

The report focused on nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide – all found in traffic fumes and said there were “clear associations” between exposure to air pollution and cardiovascular damage.

The findings were inconclusive as to what exact causes the damage but said there were three possibilities: pollution particles cause a chemical reaction tiggering a stroke; that plaques break away from artery walls causing a blockage and that particles affect the heart’s rhythm.

Committee chairman Professor Jon Ayres said the findings illustrated the need for further research.