30% of the deaths due to cardiovascular disease is due to an environmental component: air pollution, passive tobacco and toxic compounds

Scientific evidence shows with rotundity that air, water and food contamination by toxic compounds contribute to excess cardiovascular disease. For this reaso

30% of the deaths due to cardiovascular disease is due to an environmental component: air pollution, passive tobacco and toxic compounds

Scientific evidence shows with rotundity that air, water and food contamination by toxic compounds contribute to excess cardiovascular disease. For this reason, the Congress SEC21 of cardiovascular health, which organized the Spanish Society of Cardiology in a hybrid manner (online and face-to-face) in Zaragoza until Saturday, put the focus on the urgency of incorporating a new subdiscipline into habitual clinical practice, the Environmental cardiology, fundamental to face the challenges of climate change that must be taken into consideration for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

The epidemiologist Ana Navas-Acée, professor at the Mailman Public Health Faculty of the University of Columbia, in New York, taught the inaugural conference of Congress with a degree that could well be a declaration of intent: Environmental cardiology: a discipline of the s. XXI "We should consider incorporating this new subdiscipline into the habitual clinical practice," said Navas-ACién, on the occasion of the presentation of Congress at a press conference. The specialist she considers that the units of environmental cardiology would address environmental pollution as another element that can contribute to cardiovascular disease, as well as lifestyle.

"It is the unknown risk factor," he warned, and that despite "30% of deaths due to cardiovascular disease, according to the World Health Organization, occur by an environmental component: air pollution, passive tobacco and toxic compounds (specifically, the harmful influence of lead has a strong support for scientific evidence) ". Therefore, "clinical practice guidelines should be updated and include environmental exposures such as risk factors to develop public health strategies."

Globally, half of the 6.7 million deaths attributable to air pollution in 2019 were for cardiovascular reasons, as shown by the study Taking to Stand Against Air Pollution-The Impact on Cardiovascular Disease, jointly conducted by the World Federation From the heart, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the European Society of Cardiology. Both is their weight in cardiovascular disease that is already considered the fourth risk factor causing more mortality, only behind hypertension, smoking and bad nutrition.

Navas-accommodates some of the data illustrating the harmful influence of pollution in health. "There are thousands of studies that show that the days of greatest air pollution in cities increase infarctions, heart failure and arrhythmias". But this effect is not explained only in acute key, because the constant dripping of pollution, exposed daily to these toxic ones also harms cardiovascular health in the long run.

There are several epidemiological studies of large American cohorts (Strong Heart Study, table or Nhanes) those who show how lead, cadmium and arsenic, together with air pollution with fine particles, even below the legally established limits, They are especially harmful to the development of cardiovascular disease of atherosclerotic origin.

The deployment of specific units to address this risk factor does not seem imminent, while the cardiologist can take it into account, proposed navas-equally. A first practical step, for example, would be wondering where the patient lives (close to a highway or somewhere specially contaminated) and consider it by giving him the discharge after a heart attack.

Another measure, with more interventional potential, would be to use chelating therapy to reduce the presence of heavy metals in the organism. Do not forget that among the highest risk chemical compounds for public health according to, WHO, are, in addition to air pollution, asbestos, arsenic, benzene, cadmium, dioxin, fluoride, mercury , pesticides and lead.

"There are already clinical trials, such as the Tact (Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy), funded by the United States Institutes (NIH), which demonstrate the effectiveness of drugs that eliminate heavy metals such as lead and cadmium, through The urine, for the treatment of cardiovascular disease of arteriosclerotic origin ".

For the analysis, 1,708 cardiovascular patients from the United States and Canada were followed up for 55 months. 55,222 infusions were administered, between placebos and chelating drugs (EDTA). Deaths, infarcts and coronary revascularization were reduced. The benefits were "impacting in diabetic patients," said the specialist.

The study is being replicated with a new job to confirm the results obtained, so that the agency of the US drug (FDA) can give green light to chelating therapy as a tool more in the cardiologist's consultation.

The use of the mask could help reduce, although in moderate measure, the effect of pollution. "Asian countries take advantage of these, because there before the pandemic they already used the mask so much to prevent respiratory infections and by environmental contamination," says the epidemiologist. Europe and the United States have incorporated it as a barrier against Covid-19, as well as the ventilation of closed spaces. However, this last strategy would be counterproductive to avoid exposure to contaminated air. HEPA filtering or air renewal in buildings would help to combine the prevention of infections and damage by pollution.

In the same way, strengthen the prohibition of crowded outdoor smoking (terraces) that arrived with the pandemic would also help avoid another of the great environmental toxic, passive smoking.

Updated Date: 01 November 2021, 18:11

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