ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
Stem Cells Might Treat Tough Fractures
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
CANCER
Antioxidants Pose No Melanoma Threat
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
DIET, NUTRITION
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Artificial Light Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk
Climate Change Linked to Longer Pollen Seasons
Agent Orange Exposure Tied to Prostate Cancer Return
EYE CARE, VISION
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
FITNESS
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Higher Fitness Levels Tied to Lower Heart, Death Risks
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
The Unmedicated Mind
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
SENIORS
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
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Air Pollution Raises Risk of Heart Disease, Death

here's growing proof that air pollution is associated with heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death, says an updated American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement released Monday.

Of the different types of air pollution, the evidence is strongest for fine particulate matter (called PM2.5 by scientists because the particles have a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less). Its tiny size makes it more likely to infiltrate even the smallest airways, and according to the experts who wrote the updated statement, it's the type of air pollution most likely to cause cardiovascular disease.

Major sources of PM2.5 include fossil fuel combustion from industry, traffic and power generation.

"Particulate matter appears to directly increased risk by triggering events in susceptible individuals within hours to days of an increased level of exposure, even among those who otherwise may have been healthy for years," statement lead author Dr. Robert D. Brook said in an AHA news release.

"Growing evidence also shows that longer-term PM2.5 exposures, such as over a few years, can lead to an even larger increase in these health risks," he added. As a result, the AHA stated that fine particulate matter "should be recognized as a 'modifiable factor' that contributes to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality."

Those at highest risk from PM2.5 exposure include the elderly, people with existing heart diseases (for example, heart failure or coronary artery disease), and possibly those with diabetes.

"The foremost message for these high-risk groups remain that they should work to control their modifiable traditional risk factors -- blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, [and] smoking," said Brook, a cardiovascular medicine specialist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In addition, he wrote, people can limit their exposure to PM2.5 pollution "by decreasing their time outside when particle levels are high and reducing time spent in traffic."

He and colleagues also concluded that there is:

* Strong level of evidence of a link between air pollution and ischemic heart disease (a narrowing of the coronary arteries that prevents adequate blood supply to the heart).
* Modest level of evidence that air pollution is associated with peripheral vascular diseases, irregular heartbeats and cardiac arrest.
* A "moderate, yet growing link" between air pollution and heart failure and ischemic stroke (a stroke caused by an interruption on the blood flow to the brain).
* A "small yet consistent" association between short-term exposure to air pollution and premature death.

The updated statement appears online May 10 in the journal Circulation.

SOURCES: American Heart Association, news release, May 10, 2010 Published on: May 10, 2010