ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
High Birth Weight Doubles Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
CANCER
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
CAREGIVING
Tainted China Formula Caused High Rate of Kidney Stones in Kids
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
DIET, NUTRITION
Leafy Greens Top Risky Food List
Low Vitamin A, C Intake Tied to Asthma Risk
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Skin Woes Take Toll on U.S. Combat Troops
Bed Bugs Bring No Disease Danger
Warmer-Than-Average Temperatures Raise Migraine Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
FITNESS
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Kids More Apt to Smoke If Mom Did While Pregnant
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
MENTAL HEALTH
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
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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