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Air pollution can raise blood pressure
Dr KK Aggarwal | 21 Sep 2013

Breathing polluted air for even two hours can boost blood pressure, potentially raising the risk of cardiovascular disease in those exposed to smog, Dr. K K Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India and MTNL Perfect Health Mela

Breathing polluted air for even two hours can boost blood pressure, potentially raising the risk of cardiovascular disease in those exposed to smog, Dr. K K Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India and MTNL Perfect Health Mela

In susceptible patients this small increase may actually be able to trigger a heart attack or stroke. In the study, which appeared in a recent issue of Hypertension, researchers tested 83 people as they breathed levels of air pollution similar to those in an urban city near a roadway. The air pollution caused diastolic pressure -- the lower number in a blood pressure reading -- to rise within two hours. Blood vessels were impaired for as long as 24 hours. Tests showed that microscopic particles in the air, rather than ozone gases, caused the rise in blood pressure and impaired blood vessel function. If air pollution levels are forecasted to be high, those with heart disease, diabetes or lung disease should avoid unnecessary outdoor activity.