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City Center Inhabitants Prone to Heart Disease, Danish Study Reveals


A recent heart study specific to coronary artery calcification (CAC) suggests that city center pollution doubles vascular calcium build-up risk and thus raises the incidence of heart disease in major Danish cities.

Residents of city centers who participated in this study were found to be at twice a higher risk of developing heart disease from CAC than were their counterparts residing in less polluted urban and rural areas. This is according to a research paper published in the May issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine.

The scientific investigators in this study collected data for 1,225 male and female respondents aged between 50 and 60. 20.49% (251) of the sampled population lived in major Danish city centers. In these areas, findings implicated a 7%, 12%, and a 16%, 8% higher risk in developing CAC among city centers dwellers’ men and women, and 50 year-olds and 60 year-olds, respectively.

The results further showed that 43% (527) of the participants had CAC (with no other heart disease symptoms). Susceptibility of city center residents to specifically developing CAC was at 80% compared to only 20% susceptibility in the rest. There was significantly higher risk involved in consideration of older participants (120% higher), diabetics (100% higher), and smokers (90% higher) as per the research.

Dr Jess Lambrechsten who headed this Denmark study is an affiliate of Svendborg Hospital’s Department of Cardiology. He reported his study design to have included randomly selected participants from a Danish adults’ national Government database. Out of the selected individuals, 69% consented and attended any 1 of 4 regional hospitals in Southern Denmark to provide data in form of filled questionnaires; 3% were later excluded citing previous heart problems. Of the remainder (1,225), 47% were male and 53% female equally split between 50 year-olds and 60 year-olds.

The parameters in question were: smoking habits medical conditions, family history of heart disease, and prescribed medication. Clinical examination included weight, height, blood tests, blood pressure, and scans. Environmental surveillance reports showed rates of air pollution higher in city centers than in urban and rural areas.

Recommendations made in this study were that more research needs to be done so as to bring about a better understanding of the link between air pollution and CAC incidence.

[via eurekalert]

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