High Ozone Levels Up Cardiac Arrest Risk: Study

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay reporter

MONDAY, November 9, 2020 (HealthDay News) – High levels of ozone air pollution could increase the risk of cardiac arrest, according to a new study.

It included 187,000 people, an average of 63 years old, in the United States who suffered cardiac arrest outside of hospital between 2013 and 2016.

Their exposure to ozone air pollution was estimated using data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on daily ozone levels in different regions.

For every 12 parts per billion (ppb) increase in ozone level, the likelihood of cardiac arrest increased by 1%, which is statistically significant, according to the researchers.

There was no association between levels of particulate air pollution and cardiac arrest. The study also found that age, gender and race made no difference in the risk of cardiac arrest from air pollution.

However, “We found that a higher ozone concentration on the day of cardiac arrest outside the hospital was significantly associated with a higher risk,” said lead author Dr. Ali Malik, researcher. at the Mid America Heart Institute in Saint Luke. in Kansas City, Missouri. His team will present their research at a virtual meeting of the American Heart Association to be held November 14-16.

“Importantly, we found that the relationship between ozone and the risk of [out-of-hospital cardiac arrest] was present even at concentrations below the EPA air quality standard. These findings may have important public health implications, ”Malik said in a press release.

The study found only one association and could not prove cause and effect. In addition, research presented at meetings is generally considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

But it is important, Malik believes, to limit exposure to high levels of ozone and to take more aggressive measures to reduce concentrations in the air.

Previous studies have linked exposure to ozone and particulate air pollution to the development of chronic disease.

In a 2010 scientific statement, the AHA said air pollutants are a “modifiable factor that contributes to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.”

More information

To learn more about air pollution and heart disease, check out the American Heart Association.

SOURCE: American Heart Association, press release, November 9, 2020

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