Ozone linked to heart disease deaths

Chronic exposure to ground level ozone, a powerful greenhouse gas and a widespread air pollutant in many major cities, is linked to premature death from cardiovascular disease, finds a new study led by University of California, Berkeley, researchers.

The analysis, funded by the California Air Resources Board and published in the current issue of American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, also found a strong link between nitrogen dioxide, a marker for traffic pollution, and increased risk of death from lung cancer.

Numerous studies have connected air pollution to a higher risk of mortality, but until now, the extent of the impact had been uncertain.

For the new paper, researchers developed individualized air estimates of more than 73,000 California residents. They used a combination of home addresses, government air monitors and statistical models to obtain monthly averaged values of exposure to ozone, nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter pollution. Researchers tracked mortality from 1982-2000 to link the deaths to air pollution exposure.

"Ozone has already been linked to respiratory problems, but this is the first study to show that it also increases the risk of death from ischemic heart disease, which accounts for more than 7 million deaths worldwide each year," said study lead author Michael Jerrett, professor and chair of environmental health sciences at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health. "Our findings will likely up the total deaths due to air pollution by hundreds of thousands per year in the next World Health Organization assessment."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

AMA examines economic impact of physicians

6 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Physicians who mainly engage in patient care contribute a total of $1.6 trillion in economic output, according to the American Medical Association (AMA)'s Economic Impact Study.

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

6 hours ago

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

6 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

hrfJC
not rated yet Sep 09, 2013
I believe that such chronic exposures to atmospheric oxidants in smog, e.g. ozone, nitrogen oxides, and inflammatory particulates could all be inhibited by simple nutritional intervention using multiple doses of ascorbate, taken in 4 x 250 mg doses at 4 hr intervals or as less irritating magnesium powder to achieve tissue saturation. Ascorbate, reacts rapidly with and thus inactivates most oxidants in a dose dependent manner. But it is thus depleted by reaction and also by excretion with a half life of about 4 hrs, hence requires repeated dosing. Ascorbate is widely used as anti- chlor for inactivating chlorine in tap water tomallow use in fish tanks. Oral ascorbate could similarly minimize lung and ocular damage from exposure to chlorine in shower water and in swimming pools. These suggestions are in part based on conclusions in a 1999 report on inhibition of alveolar damage by ozone using dietary ascorbate at essentially nontoxic doses. And subjective improvements would be obvious.