Modest reductions in air pollution could prevent almost 8000 hospitalizations for heart failure and save hundreds of millions of healthcare dollars in the US alone, authors of a new study estimate.
Dr Anoop SV Shah and colleagues University of Edinburgh, Scotland combined data from 35 studies addressing the health effects of air pollution that included heart-failure end points. In all, data from 12 countries were included in their review, published online in the Lancet.
They found that of the common airborne pollutants, carbon monoxide was the most frequently studied and was associated with the largest increase in heart-failure hospitalizations or death, although all “gaseous and particulate air pollutants” with the exception of ozone were associated with increased HF hospitalization or HF mortality.
HF hospitalization or mortality was increased by 3.52% for every 1-ppm increase in carbon monoxide. For sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, the corresponding increase in risk was 2.36% and 1.70%, respectively, for every 10-ppb increase. For every 10-µg/m3-increase in particulate matter, HF hospitalizations or mortality was increased by 2%.
Of note, hospitalizations and deaths from HF peaked at times when air quality was the worst, Shaw and colleagues observed.