Air pollution linked to risk of dangerous hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

People exposed to air pollution are more likely to develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy-a sudden life-threatening condition in which blood vessel blood vessels enlarge too much-than their counterparts who breathe cleaner air a new study suggests.

The fact we observed positive associations with air pollution pain and cardiomyopathy among men with prolonged exercise duration supports the idea that air pollution may increase the risk of these diseases associated with exercise said study leader Kalyani Sonawane of New York University.

She and her colleagues expected the effect to be stronger for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy-in which vascular blood vessels become larger and more dilated-than for other conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. Instead it was found:

The team report the findings in Circulation a journal of the American Heart Association. The American Heart Association did not respond to a request for comment.

For the study 55 obese patients with a mean body mass index of 27. 2 kilograms (nearly 65 pounds) were given either no daily exposure to low levels of air pollution (compared to those in the study) or a 10-day treatment period with fine particulates (compared to no air pollution). Each 91-day trial consisted of mid-July mid-August and mid-October. After five weeks cholesterol readings were taken and blood pressure and heart rate were measured at rest and while exercising.

Cholesterol was measured using a continuous glucose capillary test while heart rate and respiratory activity had been measured using a continuous electrocardiogram the researchers report. Lung function was measured by ultrasound and a resting-state stress test. The researchers measured oxygen saturation in the blood volume of cerebrospinal fluid in the leg (volume of the small oesophageal sphincter during sleep) and oxygen saturation in the muscles (volume of the muscles during exercise) via a breathing tube.

After adjusting for age sex body mass index volume of the oesophageal sphincter during sleep and weight the researchers found that there was no difference between those who received a daily dose of air pollution or those who didnt.

The scientists also found the connection between air pollution and the condition. Compared to those exposed to no air pollution those who were exposed were 30 percent more likely to have slow heart rates at rest 30 percent more likely to have abnormal pressure in the right trabecular fistula at rest and 90 percent more likely to be affected by swelling in the brain in response to exercise.

The full range of risk factors for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is not yet clear. The researchers said working toward understanding these factors may help scientists better determine whether individuals exposed to air pollution have cardiovascular disease.