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Cleaner Air = Healthier Hearts

16 May 2012

A study in the Journal of American Medical Association has established a link between air pollution and heart health.


The study involved medical tests on 125 volunteers living in Beijing at the time of the 2008 Olympic Games.


China was forced to take major steps to cut pollution ahead of the Olympics amid fears that poor air quality could be harmful to athletes and spectators. The measures adopted by the Chinese authorities included closing factories and allowing cars on the road only every other day.


Blood samples were taken from volunteers before and during the Games. The study particularly looked at markers associated with clotting and inflammation – known heart disease factors. The researchers saw immediate and  significant improvements as the air quality improved.


The British Heart Foundation has previously noted a link between heart disease and pollution, but could not explain why it existed. As a result of the latest findings they now say more research is needed.


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