While numerous studies have shown that air pollution is associated with cardio-pulmonary mortality, there has been less research into the possible effect of air pollution on stroke and non-fatal coronary events. Results from the Heinz Nixdorf Recall (HNR) study, reported in Deutsches Ärzteblatt International by Barbara Hoffmann and her coauthors, now suggest that fine particulates also increase the risk of stroke.
4,433 residents of Bochum, Essen, and Mülheim an der Ruhr participated in the study. Participants were selected over the time period from 2000 to 2003, and were aged between 45 and 74 years. Information regarding stroke or cardiovascular disease occurrence and/or associated mortality was collected annually.
In addition, the authors evaluated exposure to particulate matter and noise according to participants’ place of residence. The results indicate that stroke is more likely to occur with increased air pollution. The results for coronary events are less clear, and exposure to noise pollution showed no clear effect. The authors point out, however, that the data indicates a tendency for increased risk of cardiovascular disease through particulate matter exposure.
Hoffmann B, Weinmayr G, Hennig F, Fuks K, Moebus S, Weimar C, Dragano N, Hermann DM, Kälsch H, Mahabadi AA, Erbel R, Jöckel KH (2015) “Air quality, stroke and coronary events—results of the Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study from the Ruhr region,” Dtsch Arztebl Int 112: 195–201. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2015.0195