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Prolonged exposure to air pollution can lead to coronary artery spasms [대기오염 오래 노출되면 관상동맥 경련까지 유발]


Recently, fine dust levels have been an all-time worst in Korea. Fine dust can cause diseases such as inflammation in all organs of the human body such as bronchi, lungs, scalp, skin, and eyes. Can fine dust really affect the heart and coronary arteries? Well, long-term exposure to fine dust increases the risk of angina.

A joint research team from Korea University Guro Hospital and the School of Health and Environmental Science examined the level of exposure to air pollution (fine dust, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, ozone) and blood vessel function tests for 6,430 people suspected of angina disease from 2004 to 2014.

After analysis, the results showed 72 hours of PM10 exposure to 85 µg / m3, which is the 'bad' level in the forecast grade, increases the risk of angina by 25% compared to 25 µg / m3, which is the 'good' level. appear. In addition, the risk of angina increased by 4% for each increase of 20μg / ㎥.

Angina pectoris is a disease caused by squeezing chest pains, which is an ischemic pain due to insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle due to blockage or narrowing of the coronary arteries. In addition to clogging or narrowing of the coronary arteries, intermittent spasms of the coronary arteries can also cause angina symptoms. Coronary spasms (convulsions) are the narrowing of blood vessels due to abnormal contractions of coronary smooth muscles, which is called "variant angina''.

The results showed that prolonged exposure to fine dust for more than 48 hours significantly increased the risk of coronary artery spasms and transient ST segment elevations (electrocardiogram changes seen in myocardial infarction). On the other hand, there was no correlation between sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and ozone levels and coronary spasms.

Fine dust can cause heart disease not only in people with diseases such as arteriosclerosis and angina, but also in people with healthy blood vessels by causing coronary artery spasms.

Korea is suffering from fine dust, and nowadays, masks are a necessity. Even if you are confident in your health, be sure to keep an eye on your air environment index and avoid frequent exposure to fine dust.

Cardiovascular and respiratory chronic patients, as well as those without the disease, such as those who feel tightness or crushing pains in their chest, it is recommended to see a doctor for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Written with the help of Dr. Park Eun Jin (pictured above), Cardiologist at Nasaret International Hospital
Published by KihoIlbo on 2019 Mar 13


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