Chinese study links heart disease to ozone pollution

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Chinese study finds link between heart disease and ozone pollution

China's pollution in the city of Shanghai is pictured on February 23, 2018.

Ozone air pollution is associated with increased hospitalizations for heart disease, according to a study in China released on Friday, the latest illustration of the risks posed by greenhouse gas emissions.

This study, published in the journal < em>European Heart Journaland covering 258 million people in 70 Chinese cities, compared hospital admission data from 2015-2017 with live air quality trends in these cities.

These data show that, independent of other pollutants, ozone was associated with more than 3% of hospitalizations for coronary heart disease, heart failure, and than strokes.

In addition, each increase of 10 micrograms of ozone per cubic meter of air has been shown to be linked to a 0.75% increase in hospitalizations for heart attacks and a 0.4 % for strokes.

Although these increases seem modest, the impact would be amplified more than 20 times when ozone levels exceed 200 micrograms during the summer, the author told AFP. the study Shaowei Wu, from Xi'an Jiaotong University, and colleagues. In this extreme example, exposure to ozone is linked to 15% of heart attacks and 8% of strokes, the researchers estimate.

So While ozone in the upper layers of the atmosphere helps block harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from reaching Earth, at ground level, this gas is a major component of polluting smog most major cities.

Ozone is created in the atmosphere by a chemical reaction when two pollutants, often emitted by cars or industry, combine in the presence of sunlight, and has been shown to x27;it interferes with photosynthesis and plant growth.

The study claims to be the first to assess the risk of hospitalization for heart disease when levels of #ozone exceed the World Health Organization's daily recommendation of 100 micrograms per cubic meter of air.

Researchers are calling for a more vigorous public action to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, as well as the implementation of an alert system so that people can limit their exposure on days when the level of ozone is high.

Because the study was observational, however, it was not able to Directly say that ozone pollution causes heart disease.

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