Rising air pollution levels linked to irregular heartbeat and lung clotting

Air pollution in Britain has been linked with higher incidences of developing an irregular heartbeat and blood clots in the lung, new research has revealed.

Data collected in England and Wales between 2003 and 2009 shows that short-term pollution has close links to arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) and blood clots in the lung, the BBC reports.

The team conducting the research, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that the strongest link was in people aged over-75, and in women.

Lead researcher Dr Ai Milojevic said to the BBC that the study “found some evidence of air pollution effects on irregular heart beat (arrhythmia) but no clear evidence on heart attack (Myocardial Infarction) and stroke which represents ultimately blood clotting process[es].”

“Elderly people and hospital patients with chronic ischaemic heart disease or irregular heart beat are observed to be at particular risk.”

The World Health Organisation estimates that as many as seven million people died as a result of air pollution in 2012.

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