According to recent findings from a large observational study, long-term exposure to air pollution and road traffic noise may raise the risk of heart failure.
Almost a 15- to 20-year period, the study looked at over 22,000 female nurses in Denmark, aged 44 and higher, to see how exposure to tiny particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide, as well as road traffic noise, affected their health.
Increased exposure to these contaminants was linked to a significantly increased risk of developing heart failure after only three years, according to the findings.
According to Youn-Hee Lim, PhD, principal author of the study, former smokers and hypertensive individuals were the most vulnerable to the detrimental effects of small particulate matter.
Former smokers who were exposed to fine particulate matter for long periods of time had a 72 percent increased risk of heart failure. They were unable to investigate the effects of prolonged exposure to fine particulate matter.
The noise from roads within a 3-kilometer radius of the participants’ residences was measured to estimate road traffic noise. Although the link between road noise and heart failure was not as significant as it was with pollution, it was nevertheless found.
The results were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association on the internet.
While prior study has linked air pollution to cardiovascular disease, Lim claims that there has been little research on the link between long-term air pollution exposure and heart failure.
According to Ileana L. Pia, MD, a heart failure transplant cardiologist and professor of medicine at Wayne State University, “With emissions rules now in place to address pollution, it’s noteworthy that the researchers decided to study air pollution as a heart failure risk.”
The results could have been influenced by especially when exposed to indoor air pollution or occupational noise, which were not taken into consideration in the study.
According to Lim, broad public approaches such as stronger emission reduction systems, as well as things like quitting smoking and controlling blood pressure, can help reduce the impact of pollution exposure.
Long‐Term Exposure to Air Pollution, Road Traffic Noise, and Heart Failure Incidence: The Danish Nurse Cohort
Youn‐Hee Lim, Jeanette T. Jørgensen, Rina So, Tom Cole‐Hunter, Amar J. Mehta, Heresh Amini, Elvira V. Bräuner, Rudi G. J. Westendorp, Shuo Liu, Laust H. Mortensen, Barbara Hoffmann, Steffen Loft, Matthias Ketzel, Ole Hertel, Jørgen Brandt, Steen Solvang Jensen, Claus Backalarz, Mette K. Simonsen, Nebojsa Tasic, Matija Maric, and Zorana J. Andersen
Originally published6 Oct 2021: https://doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.121.021436 : Journal of the American Heart Association. 2021;10: e021436