Connection Between Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Health

  • 12 years ago
Connection Between Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Health - as part of the news series by GeoBeats.

Researchers in China seem to have proven a correlation between air pollution and poor cardiovascular health.

Beijing is listed as having one of the worst air pollution problems in the world. But as part of their 2008 Summer Olympics bid, Beijing improved the city’s air quality by limiting vehicle traffic in the city and shutting down some factories for a period of time during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

During the city’s air quality controls, researchers from USC and several other universities collaborated on a study to find the effects of the air pollution reduction on a group of healthy resident doctors from a local Beijing hospital.

The subjects were tested before, during and after the Olympic games in order to track the effects of the air quality changes on the human body. When tested during the Olympic games, the subjects measured healthier levels of blood pressure and lower levels of proteins in the blood that have been known to lead to cardiovascular issues. These levels were significantly increased in the subjects after the Olympic games, showing that exposure to air pollution can negatively effect certain aspects of our health. Jonathon Samet of the Environmental Protection Agency told University of Southern California: “We need to remember that large numbers of people in cities around the world are still exposed to high levels of air pollution as they are in Beijing.”