From Mari DeSchryver: Heart Health and Pollution
An arrhythmia is when there is a problem with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat, and a study done in Piacenza, Italy found that they are more common on days with higher air pollution levels.
Arrhythmias can be life threatening, sudden, and come without warning. You might be thinking, “if they’re so sudden, how did the researchers track them?” The participants of the study had implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) which keep track of the occurrences of arrhythmias. According to an article by Air Quality News, the study included 146 patients, 93 of whom got an ICD after a previous heart attack and 53 who got one as the result of a genetic condition. Just over half of the participants (about 79) had never had an arrhythmia.
The study author, Dr. Alessia Zanni, said the study was born after doctors like herself had noticed emergency room visits for arrhythmias increase on days with a lower air quality. She goes on to explain that “particulate matter may cause acute inflammation of the heart muscle which could act as a trigger for cardiac arrhythmias”. Additionally, she recommended that at-risk individuals should have a residential air purifier.
Having safe, non-polluted air to breathe is crucial to your respiratory and overall health. Dr. Zanni goes on to talk about mostly outdoor pollution sources, but everything that is outside eventually comes inside through open windows, doors etc. GeneralAire® MAC air cleaners and UV air purifiers both work to keep your air free of irritating particulates and pollution from any source, so you can breathe healthier®.