Air pollution increases risk of premature death by 20 per cent: Study
Exposure to above average levels of outdoor air pollution increases the risk of premature death by 20 per cent and mortality risk from cardiovascular disease by 17 per cent, according to a study.
The research, published in the journal PLOS One, shows that along with high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking, environmental factors such as air pollution are highly predictive of people’s chances of dying, especially from heart attack and stroke.
Using wood- or kerosene-burning stoves, not properly ventilated through a chimney, to cook food or heat the home also increased overall risk of death by 23 per cent and 9 per cent and cardiovascular death risk by 36 per cent and 19 per cent, the researchers said.
Living far from specialised medical clinics and near busy roads also increased risk of death, they said.
Researchers from NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, US, collected personal and environmental health data from 50,045 mostly poor, rural villagers living in the northeast Golestan region of Iran.
All study participants were aged over 40 and agreed to have their health monitored during annual visits with researchers dating as far back as 2004.
The study not only identifies environmental factors that pose the greatest risk to heart and overall health, but also adds much-needed scientific evidence from people in low and middle income countries.