(HealthDay News) — Ambient air pollution has short-term effects on specific cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, according to a study published online June 4 in Heart.

Ai Milojevic, PhD, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and colleagues examined the short-term correlation between ambient air pollution and a range of cardiovascular events. Data were collected from three national databases in England and Wales. More than 400,000 myocardial infarction (MI) events from the Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project (MINAP) database, over two million CVD emergency hospital admissions, and more than 600,000 CVD deaths were linked to daily air pollutant data.

The researchers found that with respect to mortality outcomes, no CVD outcome analyzed correlated clearly with any pollutant, with the exception of particulate matter less than 2.5µm in aerodynamic diameter, which correlated with arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, and pulmonary embolism. Only nitrogen dioxide (NO2) correlated with an increased risk of hospital admission, with a 10th to 90th centile increase correlating with increased risk for CVD (1.7% [95% confidence interval, 0.9–2.6]), non-MI CVD (2.0% [1.1–2.9]), arrhythmias (2.9% [0.6–5.2]), atrial fibrillation (2.8% [0.3–5.4]), and heart failure (4.4% [2.0–6.8]). Using data from MINAP, an increased risk of MI was seen only for NO2, which was specific for non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (3.6% [0.4–6.9]).

“The strongest associations with air pollution were observed with selected non-MI outcomes,” the authors write.

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