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Air pollution may pose threat to your heart

People wearing masks walk on a street amid heavy haze and smog in Beijing, October 11, 2014. Widespread smog has affected a large part of north China including capital Beijing as the National Meteorological Center (NMC) extended a yellow alert on Thursday for air pollution, Xinhua News Agency reported. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (CHINA - Tags: ENVIRONMENT HEALTH) - RTR49R56

Washington: A new study has found that air pollution can worsen the blood sugar levels, cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease.

Researchers from the Endocrine Society have found the harmful air pollutants can pose a serious threat to human health, especially to heart.

Lead author Victor Novack, MD, PhD, of Soroka University Medical Center and Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel, said while air pollution is linked with relatively small changes in cardiometabolic risk factors, the continuous nature of exposure and the number of people affected is a cause for concern.

He added even small changes in glucose levels and glycemic control can contribute to cardiovascular disease risk.

The study found the participants tended to have higher blood sugar levels and a poorer cholesterol profile when they were exposed to higher average levels of air particulates in the preceding three months compared to those exposed to lower levels of air pollutants.

Particulate matter exposure was associated with increases in blood glucose, LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides or fats in the blood. Exposure to particulate matter also was linked to lower levels of HDL or cholesterol.

Maayan Yitshak Sade, MPH, of Ben-Gurion University, and Soroka University Medical Center, said they have found an association between air pollution exposure in the intermediate term and in undesirable changes in cholesterol.

“This suggests that cumulative exposure to air pollution over the course of a lifetime could lead to elevated risk of cardiovascular disease,” he said.

The study is published in the journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. (ANI)