Study Suggests Air Pollution Likely To Enhance Atherosclerosis Risk

A new research has found that exposure to surrounding ozone might raise the atherosclerosis risk and affect arterial health. The research indicates that smog can result in atherosclerosis, which is a condition of cardiovascular. Atherosclerosis is caused due to fatty deposits like fat, cholesterol, and cellular waste that accumulate in arteries. Over a period of time when plaque builds up in blood vessels, it thickens the arteries. This stops the blood, oxygen and nutrients for reaching the body.

This condition can result in dangerous events of cardiovascular like disease of coronary heart, heart attack, disease of peripheral artery or stroke.

Although researchers are clueless as to what causes this condition, factors like high BP, cholesterol and smoking can lead to this.

A new research talks about a new culprit – air pollution. An assistant professor of environmental health and epidemiology, Meng Wang, leads this study. He found a link between exposure to ozone and atherosclerosis and has published this in Environmental Health Perspectives journal. In his study Wang found that long-term ozone and atherosclerosis progression has some link.

The study found that long term ozone exposure causes a rise in the thickness of carotid wall which raises the risk of plaque formation. The results found that it formed arterial injury in arteries of carotid – the two vessels that get blood to neck and head. So, there is a link between ozone exposure for long term and cardiovascular mortality because of arterial injury and progression in atherosclerosis,” said Wang.

However, Wang admits that they can show the link between ozone exposure and atherosclerosis, but he added that the mechanism of biology for this is not understood well by them.

American Lung Association says that ozone which is ground-level damages the tissue of lung when people breathe it inside. Referred as smog, ozone harms lung tissue by reacting to it chemically.