Study Explores Air Pollution's Link To Heart Attacks

Scientists have discovered a link between ambient air pollution and acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack.

An article published in the September issue of the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis looks specifically at airborne particulate matter (PM) resulting mainly from the combustion of fuel, including coal and also from forest fires. Evidence shows that both short- and long-term exposure to these particulates is associated with death from cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, and more specifically from myocardial infarction.

Additionally, this research, based on a previous study, reveals that those patients with damaged arteries are most at risk to suffer from lung inflammation and fatal blood clots.

More information on the article, "Ambient air pollution and acute myocardial infarction," and the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis can be found at The author of the article, Jos Vermylen, is Professor of Medicine at the University of Leuven, Belgium, and a retired expert on clot development. He can be reached at

Previous studies on the link between air pollution and heart attacks include:

This article originally appeared in the 09/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

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