Connect with us
  • Elysium

Stroke news

Bad air: pollution linked with trajectory of stroke

“We found that high levels of air pollution were associated with increased risks of transitions from being healthy to a first stroke, cardiovascular events after stroke and death”.

Published

on

A new study is examining air pollution and it’s role on the trajectory of stroke, including cardiovascular events after first stroke and death. 

Air pollution has been widely renowned for being associated with increasing the risk of stroke.

Study author Hualiang Lin, says: “We found that high levels of air pollution were associated with increased risks of transitions from being healthy to a first stroke, cardiovascular events after stroke and death, but with a stronger effect on the transition from being healthy to having a stroke.

“These results indicate that understanding and reducing the effects of air pollutants on different transition stages in stroke will be beneficial in managing people’s health and preventing the occurrence and progression of stroke.”

The study included 318,752 individuals in the UK biobank database with an average age of 56.

The participants did not have a history of stroke or heart disease at the start of the study.

Researchers examined individuals exposure to air pollution based on where they lived at the beginning of the study.

Participants were followed for an average of 12 years.

During the study, 5,967 individuals had a stroke and of those individuals 2,985 developed cardiovascular diseases and 1,020 people later died.

Those individuals who were exposed to high levels of air pollution were more likely to have a first stroke, post-stroke cardiovascular disease or death, than those not exposed to high levels of pollution.

After the researchers adjusted for other factors that could play a role, such as smoking and physical activity levels, they found that for each 5 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) increase of fine particulate matter, the risk of transitioning from being healthy to having a first stroke increased by 24 per cent, and from being healthy to dying, the risk increased 30 per cent.

Particulate matter consists of solids or liquids suspended in the air. 

Fine particulate matter, PM2.5, is less than 2.5 microns in diameter and includes fly ash from coal combustion. 

Those who had a stroke during the period of the study had an average exposure of 10.03 µg/m3 of PM2.5, compared to 9.97 µg/m3 for those who did not have a stroke.

The researchers also discovered that the pollutants nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide were associated with an increased risk of stroke and death. 

Lin says: “More research is needed, but it’s possible that decreasing exposure to heavy levels of air pollution could play a role in reducing the progression of stroke.

 “People can reduce their exposure by staying indoors on heavy pollution days, reducing their outdoor exercise, wearing masks to filter out particulate matter and using air purifiers.”

Lin also notes that the results do not prove that air pollution causes stroke, cardiovascular disease or death, they only show an association.

A limitation of this study, was that air pollution exposure was assessed only at the beginning of the study and only based on where participants lived.

HIWIN

Trending