Heavily polluted areas have a higher rate of angioplasty procedures to treat blocked arteries than areas with clean air, according to research to be presented at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology.(1) Procedures are even more common in winter, the most polluted time of year.

Study author Dr Rafal Januszek of the University Hospital in Krakow, Poland said: “Epidemiological studies have reported negative impacts of pollution on the cardiovascular system but the effects on specific diseases were unclear. We also show for the first time that patients from areas with cleaner air are more sensitive to changes in pollution, while those from more polluted cities can adapt to fluctuations.”

Using particulate matter (PM) 10 levels published by the Chief Inspectorate for Environmental Protection in Poland, six unpolluted cities and five polluted cities were selected for the study. PM10 are particles ten micrometres or less in diameter. Sources include industrial processes like iron making and quarrying, lawn mowing, wood and coal stoves, bushfires, dust storms, and vehicle exhaust emissions.

More at European Society of Cardiology