The Impact of Extreme Weather Phenomena and Atmospheric Pollution on Heart Health: A Warning from Scientists

2023-11-12 20:11:56

The increase in extreme weather phenomena and atmospheric pollution does not bode well, neither for the planet nor for our health! This is the warning issued by scientists at the end of a study highlighting the increased risks for people with a history of heart disease.

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Air pollution not only endangers the environment, it also threatens human health. This is in any case the conclusion of the observations carried out by scientists from the research center Intermountain Health published in a press release. To do this, researchers were interested in the health of communities living in mountain environments in Utah (United States).

In particular, they observed two contexts linked to pollution, and likely to threaten health. The first: winter inversion, a situation which particularly affects mountainous areas, and where air temperatures increase with altitude instead of decreasing. In other words, warmer air is trapped above a layer of colder air near the ground. Fine particles and ozone are then no longer dispersed normally, but trapped in these low and cold zones. Residents are then more exposed to the risk of acute heart attack.

Short-term consequences for everyone?

When it comes to wildfire season, the results are no better, since it increases the risk of hospitalization for patients with atrial fibrillation — a heart rhythm disorder characterized by irregular, rapid heartbeats in the chambers. upper parts of the heart. If the study finds its limits in a particular geographical setting – in the United States, in the mountains – it still suggests that seasonal and geographical variations in air pollution levels and their effects on heart health could extend to the general population, and should lead to further studies on the issue.

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