A study led by Tim Nawrot from the Hasselt University in Belgium reached a stunning conclusion: chances are people can suffer a heart attack because of pollution than because of marijuana, coffee, sex or anger.
“Physicians are always looking at individual patients — and low risk factors might not look important at an individual level, but if they are prevalent in the population then they have a greater public health relevance,” Nawrot said in a telephone interview to Reuters.
Two million premature deaths are attributed to air pollution worldwide, as far as the World Health Organization (WHO) reports. Nawrot based his own study on 36 others. The order of the most dangerous factors he put in were: exposure to traffic, physical extertion, alcoho, coffee, air pollution, anger, sex, the use of cocaine, marijuana and respiratory infections.
He said that if you approach the issue in the way that drugs can lead to heart attack but are not used on a large scale, but on the other hand traffic exposure has a far more extended effect on population, then the latter is indeed a bigger risk to health than drugs.
“However, what triggers the heart attack should be considered the “last straw.” The foundations of heart disease that lead to a heart attack are laid down over many years,” he said in an emailed comment. “If someone wants to avoid a heart attack they should focus on not smoking, exercising, eating a healthy diet and maintaining their ideal weight.”
Indeed, the trigger should be the last of concerns, but pollution also causes long-term illnesses, not only immediate repercussions, besides the old-fashioned global warming, linked to a myriad of effects on human health, from skin cancers to floods and droughts, etc.