ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
CANCER
Many Ignore Symptoms of Bladder Trouble
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
CAREGIVING
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
More Than 60,000 Patients Risked Hepatitis Infections
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
DIABETES
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Trans-Fat Ban In New York City Is Proving successful
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
Antioxidant-Rich Diet May Protect Against Eye Disease
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
FITNESS
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
Basketball Star Details His Struggle With Gout
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Soluble Fiber, But Not Bran, Soothes Irritable Bowel
Good Sleepers More Likely to Eat Right
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Omega-3, Some Omega-6 Fatty Acids Boost Cardiovascular Health
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
SENIORS
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
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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