Here’s a survival tip for living in the big city: Don’t breathe.
Researchers at NYU’s medical school said that merely inhaling New York’s air can increase your risk of stroke by contributing to a deadly artery constriction.
“Our study adds to the growing body of evidence that air pollution is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease,” said Jonathan Newman, a cardiologist at NYU’s Langone Medical Center.
“It shows that a person’s cardiovascular risk is not only associated with their genes, health behaviors and lifestyle choices — it also depends, to some extent, on the world we live in and the air we breathe.”
Newman was the lead author on a study titled “Particulate Air Pollution and Carotid Artery Stenosis,” which focused on air quality in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The study focused on 300 area residents and the levels of pollution in each person’s home ZIP code based on air quality measurements collected by the US Environmental Protection Agency from 2003 to 2008.
The analysis revealed that residents living in ZIP codes with the most air pollution had a 24 percent greater risk of artery constriction than those living with less air pollution in their neighborhoods.
The analysis excluded people with known carotid disease and adjusted for age, demographics, medical history and median household income.