ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Using a Balloon to Repair a Broken Back
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
CANCER
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
CAREGIVING
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as Deadly as Ever
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
DIABETES
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
The High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Debate
Herb Shows Potential for Rheumatoid Arthriti
HELP TO LOSE WEIGHT ON A LOW CAL BUDGET
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Database Helps Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk
Exhaust From Railroad Diesel Linked to Lung Ailments
Meat-Eating Dinosaurs Used Legs and Arms Like Birds
EYE CARE, VISION
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
FITNESS
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Autumn Chores Often Hazardous
Swine Flu Fatality Rate a 'Little Bit' Higher Than That of Seasonal Flu
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Ginkgo Won't Prevent Heart Attack, Stroke in Elderly
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Combo Treatment Eases Wheezing in Babies
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Add your Article

Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists have used the novel idea of a "pollution vest" to determine that individual exposure to air pollution can harm a person's heart health beyond whatever damage that community-level exposure can cause.

"The challenge of air pollution is that what people are exposed to and what most studies talk about . . . rarely represent the micro environment of what's in your house," explained American Heart Association spokesman Dr. Russell Luepker, Mayo professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. "People have been working to try to get individual monitors that people can wear, so they can know what people are really inhaling as opposed to what they might be inhaling a mile away from where the monitor was."

"People shouldn't panic, but it's important that people be aware that air pollution is a contributor to cardiovascular disease," said Robert Bard, co-investigator of a study that was presented Wednesday at the heart association's annual scientific sessions, in New Orleans. "Things people can do include supporting legislation for cleaner air initiatives and, if somebody has cardiovascular disease, they may consider avoiding exposures to air pollution during peak levels, because this can potentially be a trigger for a cardiovascular event. Things everyone can do include limiting commutes and contributing less to production of pollutants."

Previous research has drawn an association between fine particulate matter air pollution and an increased risk for cardiovascular events.

It's unclear however, if daily changes in particulate matter might affect the heart and if ambient (outside) sources of air pollution have different effects than non-ambient (inside) sources.

The authors of this study were able to determine just that.

Sixty-five participants in the cardiovascular sub-study of the Detroit Exposure and Aerosol Research Study (DEARS) wore vests outfitted with monitors to collect both personal and community-based levels of air pollutants on five consecutive days during both the summer and the winter.

All volunteers were nonsmokers and lived in nonsmoking households in three different areas of Detroit.

"We specifically looked at the pollution they were individually exposed to," explained Bard, who is a research associate in the division of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor.

The average person in the study experienced increased blood pressure (1.6 millimeter of mercury) and a narrowing of blood vessels related to personal air pollution within two days of exposure. These changes could lead to heart attacks, strokes and heart failure, the authors stated.

Broader, community exposure was linked with poorer blood vessel functioning, but not higher blood pressure.

The air pollution measured was within parameters considered acceptable by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

And almost one-third of volunteers were exposed to secondhand smoke, even though they were nonsmokers living in nonsmoking households.

According to the study authors, a 10-microgram per cubic meter increase in air pollution at the community level leads to a 1 percent chance of dying the day after exposure, amounting to about one extra death per day in an area of 1 million to 5 million people.

More information

Learn more about air pollution, heart disease and stroke at the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Robert L. Bard, M.S., research associate, division of cardiovascular medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor; Russell V. Luepker, M.D., American Heart Association spokesman, Mayo professor, department of epidemiology and community health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Nov. 12, 2008, presentation, American Heart Association annual scientific sessions, New Orleans

Last Updated: Nov. 12, 2008

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