Reduced air pollution in the U.S. during the COVID-19 shutdown initiated in March 2020 was linked to fewer severe heart attacks, according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021.
The meeting will be fully virtual, Saturday, November 13 through Monday, November 15, 2021, and is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research, and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science for health care professionals worldwide. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Untreated, yet modifiable heart disease risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and diabetes, as well as physical inactivity and excess weight, can contribute to and cause a heart attack.
Previous research has confirmed that environmental conditions such as air pollution can increase the risk for heart attack. According to a 2020 American Heart Association policy statement citing a global study, ambient air pollution is widely recognized as a significant contributor to cardiovascular disease and death. In 2017, exposure to particulate air pollution was estimated to be associated with more than 7 million premature deaths and the loss of 147 million healthy life-years globally.
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