Specialists from the Duke-NUS Medical College in Singapore showed that polluted city air can cause sudden cardiac arrest in some people who lead normal lives. Researchers’ findings published in The Lancet Public Health.
The scientists analyzed data collected between 2010 and 2018 to determine whether there were correlations between out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and concentrations of the smallest particulate matter in the air, PM2.5, ranging in size from 0.001 to 2.5 micrometers. Previous studies have shown that this category of aerosols significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular, respiratory and eye diseases.
We reviewed 18,131 cases of sudden cardiac arrest in patients with a mean age of 65 years. It turned out that an increase in PM2.5 concentration for every 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air was associated with an increased risk of cardiac arrest over the next two days, which then decreased over the next three days. However, the highest probability was observed for cardiac arrest, for which the use of a defibrillator is ineffective, as well as for cardiac arrest outside the home. For PM10 particles with a diameter of 10 micrometers or less, as well as for O3, NO2 and SO2 gases, no such dependence was found.
Calculations have shown that PM2.5-related out-of-hospital cardiac arrest events can be reduced by eight percent with a one microgram per cubic meter decrease in PM2.5 concentration and by 30 percent with a three microgram per cubic meter decrease in PM2.5 concentration.
In 2021 recommended WHO annual concentrations of aerosols in air have been reduced from 10 to 5 micrograms per cubic meter of air for PM2.5 and from 20 to 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air for PM10. The reason for this decision was new evidence of adverse health effects at lower concentrations of pollutants than previously thought.