Air pollution it is defined as the presence of substances in the atmosphere resulting from human activity or natural processes. When these materials exceed pre-established concentrations, they can be harmful to health, especially to heart health.
What are the risks?
The impacts of air pollution on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality can be explained by:
1) an increase in fibrinogen and circulating inflammatory factors that lead to an increase in blood viscosity and clotting disorders;
2) changes in the modulation of the autonomic nervous system to the heart;
The main finding of the study was that long-term exposure to pollutants, specifically smoke, interferes with cardiac autonomic modulation (control of the heartbeat by the nervous system) and women are more vulnerable than men.
This can be explained by the fact that male individuals have a heart size. higher and, consequently, higher cardiac output and circulating blood volume, presenting a lower basal heart rate compared to women. A possible Adaptive process related to long-term exposure to pollutants in both sexes should also be considered.
It is important to emphasize that the study was done based on only two cities from the state of São Paulo in Brazil. Considering the immensity and differences of our country, the authors recommend that more research on the subject can be done in order to expand the knowledge we have about the impacts of pollution on people’s health and its differential effects according to gender
The results suggest that long-term exposure to pollutants, specifically smoke, has an unfavorable impact on HRV, with a reduction in cardiac vagal autonomic modulation in healthy young adults, especially women.
Heart – Science Play
Watch the video on Science Play with Rodrigo Manda: Cardiovascular risk assessment
Article: Melinski, Anita de Cássia, Aparecida Maria Catai, Sílvia Cristina Garcia de Moura, Juliana Cristina Milan-Mattosand Monica Yuri Takito (2022), “Impact of Air Pollutant on Heart Rate Variability in Healthy Young Adults”, International Journal of Cardiovascular Sciences, 35 (Int. J. Cardiovasc. Sci., 2022 35(4)), 523–29.