Healthy teenagers are at an increased of heart failure and sudden death because they are breathing in too much “air pollution,” a new study has claimed.
Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine claim that teens are breathing in fine particulate air pollution which is causing irregular heartbeats.
Reports of healthy children suffering heart arrhythmias, which can increase the risk of heart disease and sudden cardiac death, have soared over the past year.
According to the new study, which was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers argue that heart disease and sudden cardiac death can be triggered in healthy teens even when air pollution is within common air quality limits.
Doctors monitored heart activity and the air breathed by more than 300 healthy US teenagers over 24-hour periods, according to the left-wing British newspaper The Guardian, which is promoting the findings of the study.
They found that higher concentrations of fine particles called PM2.5s increased the risk of irregular heartbeats for the next two hours.
Similar effects have been found in older adults before, the paper claims.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that reports the association between PM2.5 air pollution and cardiac arrhythmias among otherwise healthy adolescents,” the researchers write.
Vehicle exhausts and combustion in the manufacturing and construction industries are major sources of PM2.5s, or particles smaller than 2.5 microns.
Once inhaled, they can reach deep into the lungs and even the blood vessels where they cause inflammation that drives disease, the outlet claims.
Dr. Fan He, the lead author of the study at Penn State College of Medicine, said his team found the results “alarming” because healthy teenagers are usually considered a low risk for cardiovascular diseases.
“Our findings suggest air pollution could trigger arrhythmias and contribute to sudden cardiac death among youth, which are devastating events for their families and larger communities,” he told the Guardian.
The researchers examined the impact of particulate air pollution on 322 healthy teenagers about seven years after they enrolled, aged six to 12 years old, in the Penn State Child Cohort study.
The participants were given heart monitors and mobile air sampling kits to carry around for 24 hours, regardless of whether they were indoors or outside, sedentary or active.
The monitors captured two types of arrhythmia that can make people feel their heart has skipped a beat.
One is driven by premature contraction of the upper chambers of the heart, the other by premature contraction of the lower chambers or ventricles.
While they are rarely treated unless they cause symptoms, premature ventricular contractions can raise the risk of heart attacks, stroke, heart failure, and sudden cardiac death later in life.
According to the report, the risk of premature ventricular contractions within two hours of exposure increased by 5% for every 10 micrograms per cubic meter increase in PM2.5.
Dr. He said it was “alarming” the effect was seen even at an average daily PM2.5 level of 17 micrograms per cubic meter.
In the UK, an average daily level of 35 micrograms per cubic meter is considered low-level pollution.
The Guardian warns that hundreds more people are being rushed into hospital for emergency care after suffering cardiac arrests, strokes, and asthma attacks.
The British Heart Foundation also estimated more than 160,000 people could die in the coming decade from strokes and heart attacks linked to air pollution.
“Wearing face masks and avoiding vigorous physical activities on highly polluted days and during rush hours reduce the amount of air pollution exposure and minimize the associated health risks,” Dr. He said.
Meanwhile, as Slay News previously reported, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now refusing to release the results of its investigation into post-Covid vaccination heart failure.
The CDC has been conducting a review of reports of post-vaccination myocarditis, a form of heart inflammation.
The federal health agency has been performing abstractions on reports submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.
However, the agency is now claiming that federal law prevents it from releasing the results to the public.