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Air pollution linked to repeated heart attacks

Air pollution linked to repeated heart attacks
6th June 2012

High levels of air pollution have been linked to an increased risk of repeated heart attacks.

Dr. Yariv Gerber of Tel Aviv University's School of Public Health at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, found that cardiac patients living in high pollution areas are more than 40 per cent more likely to have a second heart attack than those in locations with low pollution levels.

High pollution levels had previously been thought to represent a health risk in terms of respiratory infections, lung cancer and heart disease, but this study is the first to conclude it can cause repeated attacks.

Measuring air quality from 21 monitoring stations and following 1,120 first-time myocardial infarction (MI) patients for 19 years, the team found that those in the most polluted environments are 43 per cent more likely to have a second heart attack.

However, they were also found to be 46 per cent more likely to have a stroke and 35 per cent more likely to die within 20 years of their first heart attack.

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