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Blood Clots Linked To Air Pollution

Posted by Jane Akre
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 5:35 PM EST
Category: On The Road, Major Medical, Protecting Your Family, In The Workplace
Tags: Deep Vein Thrombosis, Heart Attack, Air Pollution, Particulates in the Air, Toxic Substances

Air pollution is linked to deep vein thrombosis in this study.  



IMAGE SOURCE:  WikiMedia Commons/ power plant before emission  controls / author: National Parks Service 


Tiny particles of pollution in the air, a fraction of the width of a hair, seem to increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clots in the legs.

The study was done by Dr. Andrea Baccarelli while he as at the Harvard School of Public Health. “This is the first time that anyone has connected air pollution with deep vein thrombosis,“ he told the Washington Post.

Previously dirty air particulates have been connected to heart attacks. Dr. Baccarelli is now at the University of Milan. 

Car exhaust, especially from diesel engines and burning of fossil fuels, pollute the air with particulate matter smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter.

That’s about one-40th the width of a hair. The researchers compared residents in the Lombardy region of Italy, measured at 53 sites, who had been diagnosed with DVT to more than 1,200 who had not.  Where the particulate matter was high, that is 10 micrograms per square meter, the risk of DVT increased by 70 percent.

An editorial says this makes a very strong case that DVT is connected to air pollution.  The burden of pollution may be greater than ever anticipated.  More studies are needed to prove the theory.

Until now DVT has been found in air travelers who sit for extended periods of time. That is due to impaired circulation. It’s advised to get up and move on a plane.

The findings are published in the May issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. #

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