Ozone pollution has led to a significant increase in cardiovascular diseases

(ORDO NEWS) — Chinese and American scientists in a sample of about 258 million people have found that exceeding the maximum permissible concentrations of ozone correlates with a significant increase in hospitalizations associated with heart attacks, heart failure and strokes.

Ozone is the main air pollutant in photochemical smog. This form of smog is characterized by atmospheric pollution, in which high concentrations of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds mix as a result of exposure to sunlight.

The latter contributes to a series of photochemical reactions that lead to the formation of ozone and other secondary pollutants.

Organic compounds and nitrogen oxides are emitted by automobiles, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants and biomass, coal and peat combustion plants.

Previous studies have shown that ozone pollution harms the cardiovascular system, but the risk of developing them due to these factors remained unconfirmed.

Scientists from Xiyan Jiaotong, Beijing (China) and Columbia (USA) Universities closed the gap in this issue by presenting their findings in the European Heart Journal.

They studied the relationship between ozone pollution and hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease in 70 Chinese cities from 2015 to 2017.

The data was taken from the two main national health insurance systems and covered about 258 million people, that is, more than 18 percent of the population of China.

During the study period, more than 6.4 million people were hospitalized due to cardiovascular diseases (ischemic heart disease, stroke, heart failure, angina pectoris, acute myocardial infarction, coronary syndrome, etc.).

At the same time, using the China National Urban Air Quality Platform, scientists obtained daily slices of eight-hour maximum average concentrations of ozone, fine particles, sulfur and nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and other substances in the 70 cities studied.

The average daily maximum concentration of ozone in these settlements was 79.2 micrograms per cubic meter.

Exposure to ozone pollution has been linked to an increase in hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease (excluding hemorrhagic stroke) independent of other air pollutants.

For example, every 10 micrograms per cubic meter that increased the average eight-hour maximum ozone concentration over two days was associated with a 0.40 percent increase in hospital admissions for stroke and 0.75 percent for acute myocardial infarction.

Researchers warn: do not think that this is not enough. In summer, ozone levels can rise to over 200 micrograms per cubic meter.

This could lead to more than a 20-fold increase in hospital admissions: over eight percent for stroke and 15 percent for myocardial infarction. In the case of coronary heart disease, ozone was the cause of 109.4 thousand hospitalizations out of more than 3,194,000 cases.


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