A Beijing Research On Air Pollution And Heart Problems

When air pollution levels lower, if only a little, together with it heart health problems decrease in number. This is the result of a study made during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. There seems to be a relation between pollution and cardiovascular diseases.

Senior author, Junfeng (Jim) Zhang, Ph.D. professor of environmental and global health at the Keck School of Medicine, at the University of Southern California (USC) says, “We believe this is the first major study to clearly demonstrate that changes in air pollution exposure affect cardiovascular disease mechanisms in healthy, young people.”

This study has been published in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association).

Beijing is said to be one of the most polluted cities in the whole world and because of the Olympics, the officials made efforts to improve the air’s quality/

$17 billion were spent on that, including closing various factories and limiting traffic during the sport events.

Researchers tried to lower the pollution levels to that of past Olympic hosts and see how that affects the population.

125 Beijing doctors with no health problems and non-smokers were studied by researchers from various local and foreign institutes.

The doctors, who were aged around 24 years, were examined six times – before, during, and after the Olympics.

They were investigated for blood clots, blood pressure, heart rate and systematic inflammation. It seems that the doctors experienced huge falls in the Von Willebrand factor and soluble CD62P totals, both of which are related to blood coagulation.

After the Olympics, however, these heightened again. The higher the pollution level is, the higher the chance of heart problems is. There were also changes in other indicators, but too small to be that much significant.

This study is one of the few on this theme. The link between air pollution and biomarkers has been only recently found.

This is important, as many people today live in extremely polluted cities and heart problems are very widespread.

The study results provide evidence of the relation between the human body and the environment.

The research was financed by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the Health Effects Institute, Beijing Council of Science and Technology and Beijing Municipal Bureau of Environment Protection.