Researchers say that exposure to air pollution increases the risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), the blood clots that commonly occur in the leg veins. And the worse the air pollution, apparently the higher the risk. Researchers studied 871 DVT patients in the Lombardy region of Italy, comparing them with 1,210 healthy people. They tested levels of particulate air pollution — dust, soot and other tiny bits of matter suspended in the air — in areas where the patients lived, using monitors at 53 sites over a one-year period. The study can be found in The Archives of Internal Medicine.
After adjusting for various health factors, the researchers found that for each increase of ten micrograms per cubic meter in particulate matter, the risk for DVT increased by 70%. The effect of air pollution was smaller in women and not apparent at all in those using oral contraceptives or taking hormone therapy. Oral contraceptives themselves increase the risk for blood clots, but air pollution apparently showed no added effect. Dr. Andrea Baccarelli, the lead author and an assistant professor of environmental health at the University of Milan, stated:
It’s a risk to live where pollution is high. But air pollution is not the only risk for DVT. Rather, this emphasizes the need for having a healthy lifestyle. That’s important wherever you live, but even more important if you live where pollution is high.
The findings referred to above are just another good reason for the EPA and state regulatory agencies to work toward reducing the causes of air pollution.
Source: New York Times
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