New research shows that sudden spikes of air pollution causing hundreds of heart attacks, strokes and acute asthma attacks.
A team from king’s College London examined data from London, Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford and Southampton. Days when levels of pollutants were in the top half of the annual range, led to an additional 124 cardiac arrests on average. This figure is based on data on ambulance calls and does not account for heart attacks suffered by patients already in the hospital.
This indicates a significant short-term health risks caused by air pollution, which causes nearly 500,000 premature deaths in Europe every year. In the US the death rate from sudden heart problems is also high.
Dr Heather Walton (Heather Walton) from the research group on environment king’s College London, notes that research shows a clear link to dirty air with a much broader spectrum of effects on health than previously thought.