Air pollution affects lungs, can causes heart disease: Experts

As people prepare for Diwali around the nation, particularly in Delhi, the issue of poor air quality is also becoming more of a concern because the national capital’s overall Air Quality Index (AQI) reached 266 on Saturday night.

According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the AQI index for the entire Delhi region on Saturday night was in the “Poor” category at 266, in the “Very Poor” category in the area around Delhi University at 327, in the “Poor” category in Mathura Road at 293 and in the “Moderate” category in Gurugram at 156.

Today evening, the national capital’s total Air Quality Index (AQI) reached 266.

As the air quality in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) remains poor, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute Chairman Dr. Ashok Seth said, “While pollution has only been linked to lung problems as asthma gets worse, people often overlooked the proven fact that air pollution leads to increased heart damages and we should not ignore this.”

“In fact, as we have been seeing the increase in heart disease in young people in the last few years, I believe that it is caused by air pollution that has got worse over the last 20 years as well as their lifestyles. For the last 20 years, this has been recognised by all authoritative scientific bodies of cardiology,” Dr Seth said.

Dr. Seth outlined how air pollution harms the heart by causing inflammation in the arteries that supply it.

“When we look at the 2.5 particulate matter, it is known that pollution consists of not just that matter, which also is very harmful and transfers from the lung into the blood vessels, but also gaseous metric, like carbon monoxide like sulphur dioxide like nitrogen, nitrous oxide, all of which are known to be harmful substances. They cause inflammation in the arteries of the heart. When this particulate matter goes into the bloodstream to the lungs, causes inflammation in the arteries of the heart and also causes increased clotting of the blood. And all these two important factors lead to heart attacks and development of damage to the inner lining of the arteries of the heart that causes the position of cholesterol and coronary artery disease.”

Dr Seth further said, “These pollutants again to the blood, lead to disturbance in the rhythm of the heart and affect the heart rate. Sometimes, that causes sudden death.”

Because of the festive season, we will experience the worst atmosphere; I believe it is time to realise that this needs to be addressed. Firecrackers will be used on the occasion of Diwali, and as of yet, there are no solutions, rules, or regulations regarding burning stubble. All of these will result in lung ailments, heart attacks, or problems related to the heart, according to Dr. Ashok.

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