How pollution affects our hearts

The polluting particles and gases with the greatest impact on our health

Relationship between pollution and cardiovascular diseases

How pollution affects our hearts

 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is the greatest environmental risk to health. In fact, it is related to multiple respiratory pathologies, cardiovascular diseases and even lung cancer.

The polluting particles and gases with the greatest impact on our health are a consequence of the use of fossil fuels, the emissions of chemical compounds from factories and the burning of garbage. Some of the polluting agents most present in the air are suspended particles, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons and ozone.

How does air pollution affect our cardiovascular health?

Air pollution is especially harmful to our cardiovascular health. Air polluting particles can quickly move from our lungs into our bloodstream, causing significant damage to the arteries.

When the wall of the arteries is damaged, its vasodilator capacity decreases, increasing the accumulation of fat and favoring blood coagulation. This increases the risk of thrombotic accidents and heart attacks.

Environmental pollution also favors the development of heart disease, heart failure, arrhythmias or cardiac arrest. In addition, according to the WHO, 80% of deaths caused by air pollution are due to stroke and coronary disease.

Children, the elderly, and people with respiratory diseases, heart problems, or who are at increased cardiovascular risk are the most likely to be affected by air pollution.

Preventive measures to reduce air pollution

We know that pollution is a patent problem in most countries. For this reason, it is essential to take the necessary measures to help protect the environment and our health. The solution is to reduce traffic in cities, promote the use of public transport and apply policies that help regulate pollution control.

In the case of indoor air pollution, the WHO recommends replacing solid fuel with cleaner ones and installing more efficient ventilation systems or devices. All these measures, carried out as a whole, can significantly reduce the pollutants present in the air and the effects of global warming.

Remember that if you are within the population group at risk, you should follow your doctor's recommendations and avoid spaces with levels of contamination higher than those recommended. The WHO considers spaces that exceed between 25 and 30 micrograms of harmful particles per cubic meter to be harmful.