Air pollution is linked to increased risk of developing an irregular heartbeat and blood clots in the lung, new research suggests.
But the impact of air pollution on the risk of heart attack and stroke is less clear and more research is needed, according to a BBC News
report on the research.
The study, by researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, analyzed data collected in England and Wales between 2003 and 2009 on links between cardiovascular problems and short-term air pollution. They found short-term air pollution was linked to arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) and blood clots in the lung.
The strongest link was in people over 75 and in women, lead researcher Ai Milojevic told BBC News.
"Our 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]," she said.
"Elderly people and hospital patients with chronic ischemic heart disease or irregular heart beat are observed to be at particular risk."
Seven million people died as a result of air pollution in 2012, according to World Health Organization estimates.