"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Short-term exposure to air pollution can increase the danger of stroke

28 September 2023 — According to a brand new study, the danger of stroke increases by as much as 30% inside five days of exposure to air pollution.

The researchers examined 110 observational studies from around the globe that recorded the timing of the stroke and the concentration of common pollutants within the air inside five days of the stroke.

The results of the meta-analysis were published within the journal neurology.

“The impact of air pollution on human health goes beyond the lungs and eyes. It also affects the brain and cardiovascular system,” said researcher Ahmad Tubasi of the University of Jordan, who led the study, at NBC News.

“The meta-analysis included more than 18 million cases of ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke caused by a blood clot traveling to the brain,” NBC reported.

“The researchers found that the risk of stroke was almost 30% higher when people had been exposed to nitrogen dioxide up to five days before. The risk was 26% higher for carbon monoxide, 15% higher for sulfur dioxide and 5% higher for ozone.”

In addition, short-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide was related to a 33 percent higher risk of dying from a stroke. The risk of dying from sulfur dioxide was even 60 percent higher.

Inhaling tremendous dust particles causes inflammation and irritation within the lungs, triggering the immune system to kick in, which ultimately affects the cardiovascular system, says Michael Kleinman of the Air Pollution Health Effects Laboratory on the University of California, Irvine, who was not involved within the study.

“There is a direct connection between what is happening in the lungs and what is happening in the heart,” he said.