Environmental Factors May Increase Risk of Death from Cardiovascular Disease
The World Health Organization estimates that approximately ¼ of deaths globally are due to environmental factors such as air and water quality and sanitation. A recent study has found that 4 environmental factors may be associated with a higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality.
For their study, the researchers recruited 50,045 participants over the age of 40. They evaluated the participants’ exposure to environmental risk factors including exposure to outdoor air pollution, wood or kerosene burning stoves, proximity to traffic, distance to specialized medical centers, and proximity of home to a major roadway. Participants were followed for an average of 12 years and all deaths were recorded.
Participants with an above average exposure to outdoor air pollution were found to have a 20% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 17% increased risk of death from any cause. Use of a wood or kerosene burning stove that was not properly ventilated increased the risk of cardiovascular death by 36% and 19%, respectively, and the risk of death from any cause by 23% and 9%, respectively.
The researchers also found that participants who lived furthest from specialized medical centers had an increased risk of death by any cause. The risk increased 1% for every 6.2 miles of distance. In addition, participants who lived closest to a major roadway had a 13% risk of death from any cause.
The study was conducted by researchers from Tehran University of Medical Sciences. It was published online ahead of print on June 24, 2022 in the journal Plos One.
Pomegranates were found to help improve cardiovascular health in a previous study.