The Chicago Sun-Times (2/24, Thomas) reports that "air pollution contributes to more heart attacks in the population as a whole than negative emotions, sexual activity and cocaine use, according to a new study" published online in The Lancet.
WebMD (2/23, Goodman) reported that investigators "pooled data from 36 studies of exposures that are thought to play a role in triggering heart attacks." The researchers "then calculated the odds that being exposed to that variable would lead to a heart attack."
HealthDay (2/23, Reinberg) reported that "because so many people are exposed to dirty air, air pollution while stuck in traffic topped the list of potential heart attack triggers, with the researchers pegging 7.4 percent of heart attacks to roadway smog." However, "coffee was also linked to 5 percent of attacks, booze to another 5 percent, and pot smoking to just under 1 percent, the...researchers found." Meanwhile, "among everyday activities, exerting yourself physically was linked to 6.2 percent of heart attacks, indulging in a heavy meal was estimated to trigger 2.7 percent, and sex was linked to 2.2 percent."
Reuters (2/24, Kelland) reports that the researchers wrote, "Of the triggers for heart attack studied, cocaine is the most likely to trigger an event in an individual, but traffic has the greatest population effect as more people are exposed to (it)." The UK's Press Association (2/24), the UK's Daily Mail (2/24, Hope) and HeartWire (2/23, O'Riordan) also covered the story.
Posted by Steven Almany M.D.