Polluted Air, Polluted Arteries

      Modern humanity frequently peers into history and scoffs at the foibles of past societies who poisoned themselves out of existence in various ways.  Simultaneously, modern humanity can completely miss their own self-destructive behaviors such as the contemporary effects of air pollution.  Researchers at the University Hospital in Krakow, Poland reported on their study connecting such air pollution with the rates of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for acute heart disease.  Their findings should alarm us.

            They looked at the rates of PCI or stent insertion for heart arteries blocked in heart attacks or unstable angina, comparing the rate of PCI to the level of air pollution in those cities.  They used a common standard of particulate matter pollution (PM 10) in six low pollution cities versus five high pollution cities.  These PM 10 particles measure 10 micrometers or less in diameter and come from many sources like rock quarries, wood and coal stoves, bushfires, vehicle exhaust, and dust storms.  Besides comparing city to city, they also compared different seasons of the year in the same cities as pollution levels rose in winter months.

            They found that those cities with higher air pollution based on PM 10 levels also experienced higher rates of PCI for heart disease.  Interestingly, they also found that as the levels of pollution rose during winter in the low pollution cities, the rates of PCI increased faster than in high pollution cities.  Basically, it appears that those living in the lower pollution exposures did not tolerate the higher pollution levels which occurred during winter months.

            In functional medicine, our conferences constantly promote clean food, clean air, clean water and clean living.  Many of the necessary choices are at the individual level in which a person or family can make choices for themselves without needing community or societal involvement.  In the case of air pollution, we can individually choose to move out of polluted areas, but a concerted effort by society would further protect those who cannot so easily “get out” of pollution. 

            When will modern humanity acknowledge the need to work together towards a healthier more abundant life by stewarding the God given gifts of our natural world?

 

Thanks to Science Daily

European Society of Cardiology. “Pollution and winter linked with rise in heart attack treatment.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 August 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190823080021.htm>.          

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