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Heart Watch Blog: Air Pollution Causes Atherosclerosis In Laboratory Mice

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Dec 26, 2005

Air Pollution Causes Atherosclerosis In Laboratory Mice

Air Pollution Causes Atherosclerosis In Laboratory Mice
Experimental results with laboratory mice illustrate a direct cause-and-effect relationship between contact with fine particle air pollution and development of atherosclerosis, usually known as hardening of the arteries.

Mice that were provided with a high-fat diet and exposed to air with fine particles had 1.5 times more plaque production than mice provided with the same diet and exposed to fresh filtered air. The study results are published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study may explain why people living in highly polluted areas have a higher risk of heart disease.

These results have significant implications for the long-term impact of fine particle air pollution on urban populations.

Fine particle pollution consists of microscopic particles of dust and soot less than 2.5 microns in diameter which penetrates deep into the respiratory tract, diminishing lung function and deteriorating conditions like asthma and bronchitis

"The average particle exposure over the course of the study was 15 micrograms per cubic meter, which is characteristic of the particle concentrations that urban area residents would be exposed to, and well below the federal air quality standard of 65 micrograms per cubic meter in a 24-hour period," said Sanjay Rajagopalan, M.D., a vascular medicine specialist and cardiologist with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and senior author of the study.

Daniel      



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Heart disease
About 13 million Americans (about 7 percent of the total population) suffer from coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in American men and women amounting a staggering 20 percent of all causes of death. About half of all deaths related to cardiovascular diseases occur from coronary artery disease. Through this heart watch blog we will have our humble contribution towards making men and women aware of the risks of heart diseases.

Heart Watch Blog: Air Pollution Causes Atherosclerosis In Laboratory Mice

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