Tuesday, February 14, 2012

More links between stroke risk, air pollution

Researchers have found more links between stroke risk and air pollution:
After reviewing the medical records of more than 1,700 stroke patients in the Boston area over 10 years, the researchers found a 34 percent increase in the risk of ischemic strokes on days with moderate air quality compared with days when the air was rated good by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Ischemic strokes occur when a clot blocks blood flow to part of the brain.
On days with moderate air quality, levels of fine particulate matter is higher but within allowable limits.
“This is a significant study because we have documentation that the risk of stroke can be elevated when the air quality is still within the guidelines set by the current EPA regulations,” said Dr. Murray A. Mittleman, an author of the study who teaches at Harvard Medical School and works in the CardioVascular Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess. “This implies that the current regulations can be strengthened further to prevent these catastrophic health events.”

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