Particulate matter pollution is made up of small particles of liquid and solids that are suspended in the air and inhaled into the lungs. These particles can come from various sources, such as vehicle emissions, smoke, dust, pollen, and soot. Some particles are visible, while others are too small to be seen but can enter the bloodstream. Outdoor air pollution can come from vehicle emissions, industrial activities, or natural sources such as pollen or dust, while indoor pollution often comes from heating, cooking, or lighting homes with solid fuels such as coal, wood, or crop residues.

Previous research has established a link between particulate matter (PM) pollution and death and disability due to cardiovascular disease (CVD). A study has been conducted to evaluate the impact of air pollution on the cardiovascular disease. “We focused on examining the burden globally because particulate matter pollution is a widespread environmental risk factor that affects all populations worldwide, and understanding its impact on cardiovascular health can help guide public health interventions and policy decisions,” said Farshad Farzadfar, M.D., M.P.H., D.Sc., senior author of the study and a professor of medicine in the non-communicable diseases research center of the Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Institute at Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran.

The researchers conducted an analysis of PM pollution as a risk factor for death and disability using data from 204 countries collected between 1990 and 2019. To estimate exposure to PM pollution, a tool from the 2019 update to the GBD study was used in the study. The tool incorporated information from satellite and ground-level monitoring, computer models of chemicals in the atmosphere and land-use data. This study investigated changes over time in years of life lost due to premature death (YLLs), years lived with disability (YLDs) and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). The cardiovascular disease burden was evaluated both overall and with age standardization, which compares health outcomes across a population with a wide range of ages.

Here are the findings of the analysis:

• The total number of premature deaths and years of cardiovascular disability from cardiovascular diseases caused by PM air pollution increased from 2.6 million in 1990 to 3.5 million in 2019, which is a 31% worldwide increase.
• The increase in overall deaths was unevenly distributed, with a 43% increase among men compared to a 28.2% increase among women.
• Between 1990 and 2019, there was a 36.7% decrease in age-standardized premature deaths attributed to PM pollution. Although fewer people died from cardiovascular disease, people are living longer with disability.
• Regions with higher socioeconomic conditions had the lowest number of lost years of life due to cardiovascular disease attributed to PM pollution but also the highest number of years lived with disability. In contrast, regions with lower socioeconomic conditions had more lives lost and fewer years lived with disability.
• Between 1990 and 2019, changes in the cardiovascular impact of PM pollution differed between men and women. In all measures, increases in disability and death from ambient PM air pollution were higher in men than women, while declines in disability and death from household PM air pollution were lower in women than men.

“The declines in deaths may be considered positive news, as they indicate improvements in health care, air pollution control measures and access to treatment. However, the increase in disability-adjusted life years suggests that although fewer people were dying from cardiovascular disease, more people were living with disability,” Farzadfar said.

According to this study, the age-adjusted death and disability caused by cardiovascular diseases due to outdoor PM pollution increased by 8.1% from 1990 to 2019. On the other hand, the age-adjusted cardiovascular death and disability attributed to household PM pollution, produced by solid cooking fuels like coal, charcoal, crop residue, dung, and wood, decreased by 65.4%.

“The reason for the decrease in the burden of household air pollution from solid fuels might be better access and use of cleaner fuels, such as refined biomass, ethanol, liquefied petroleum gas, solar and electricity. Moreover, structural changes, such as improved cookstoves and built-in stoves, chimney hoods and better ventilation, might be effective in reducing pollution exposure to solid fuels. Finally, the effects of educational and behavioral interventions should be considered,” Farzadfar said. “The shifting pattern from household air pollution due to solid fuels to outdoor, ambient PM pollution has important public policy implications.”

This study also reported that the American Heart Association published a scientific statement and a policy statement in 2020 outlining the latest research on air pollution exposure and ways to reduce its negative impact on cardiovascular health. The goal is to reduce health inequities, particularly in communities that have historically been marginalized and under-resourced, and those that face higher exposure levels to air pollution, including Black and Hispanic communities.

However, the study has only focused on regional estimates for the assessment of particulate matter pollution exposure, which may not accurately reflect individual exposure. Moreover, the results linking particulate matter pollution and cardiovascular outcomes may not apply to other pollutants or health conditions.

This news is a creative derivative product from articles published in famous peer-reviewed journals and Govt reports:

References:
1. Moradi, M., et al. (2023) Particulate Matter Pollution Remains a Threat for Cardiovascular Health: Findings From the Global Burden of Disease 2019. Circulation. doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.123.029375.

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