Although there are several factors that can double the risk of a heart attack, there is a combination that is especially deadly: heat and high levels of pollution by fine particles, two elements that trigger the risk of death, especially in the elderly and women.
This is the main conclusion of a study published this Monday in Circulation -The Journal of the American Heart Association- based on the analysis of more than 202,000 deaths from myocardial infarction between 2015-2020 in the Chinese province of Jiangsu, a region with four distinct seasons and a wide range of temperatures and levels of fine particle pollution.
Fine particles less than 2.5 microns in size come from car exhaust, factories or fires, and inhalation causes heart disease and stroke among other problems.
these particles “may interact synergistically with extreme temperatures and negatively affect cardiovascular health”said lead author Yuewei Liu, a researcher at Sun Yat-sen University’s School of Public Health in Guangzhou, China.
To find out if joint exposure to extreme temperatures and pollution affects health, the team analyzed 202,678 heart attack deaths between 2015-2020 in Jiangsu. The study confirmed that days that combined extreme heat and high levels of fine particle air pollution increased the risk of death from heart attack, more in women than in men and in the elderly more than in the young.