News Correspondent, abptakmaa, Kolkata, 27th Oct 2019 : Though we all talk about how environmental pollution causes respiratory disorder in humans, but how many of us know that this same evil can also lead to cardiovascular diseases. “In the past 3 years, there is evidence of a link between cardiovascular disease and environmental pollution” confirms Dr. K. M. Mandana, Director of the Department of Cardiac Sciences at Fortis Hospital Anandapur.
By pollution, we refer to the bad air that we breathe due to the vehicular emissions, indoor pollution, and fossil fuel and crop burning. However, what specialists are primarily concerned about are the smaller particles in the air, called Particulate matter (PM). As Dr. Mandana clarifies, “Particulate matter of size less than 2.5mm are the most detrimental to human health, as they directly pass through the nasal passage to straight away reach the blood stream and then the lungs and other organs of the body like the lungs, heart and brain. Links have been found between the increases in level of PM2.5 or lesser and rise in incidence of cardiovascular disease. By cardiovascular disease, we are talking about a gamut of diseases which contribute to the overall cardiovascular disease burden in the society today.”
Data reveals that compared to the cities with lower pollution levels or in the villages, there is a 1% – 3% rise in the cardiovascular disease burden in the population residing in the cities with high levels of PM 2.5 or lower. “Elevated levels of pollutants in the air can lead to diseases like strokes, heart attacks or myocardial infarction. It also results in increase in number of patients with diabetes and hypertension, which in turn leads to cardiac deaths or what is known as cardio-metabolic death. The diseases are also due to the gases which are highly poisonous and can easily get diffused in the blood and cause complication in the coronary artery and cause coronary artery diseases right from the brain to the heart. Thus, there is a clear relation between high level of pollutants in the air and cardio-metabolic deaths.”
Though the main focus is on air pollution, there is another kind of pollution which cannot be missed, especially in the season of lights and crackers- noise pollution! “Noise pollution of a high decibel, has known to cause problems to those patients who already have a pre-existing disease history. For example, a patient who has suffered a heart attack in the past or is a known case of myocardial infarction is at higher risk and is more vulnerable to disastrous myocardial infarction or a disease process because of the noise pollution. Noise pollution at high decibels, can also lead to cardio-metabolic disease in a certain percentage of people and can also lead to death as well,” warns Dr. Mandana.
So is the decibel bar of 90 safe? “The decibels that is acceptable to one is totally different for each individual. The younger a person the more is the threshold to loud noise. Elderly are more sensitive to sounds, especially those with a pre-existing disease”, explains Dr. Mandana.
However, to ensure a safe and happy festive of lights, the medical fraternity strongly stands by a cracker-free Diwali which will keep the present and the future generations safe for a longer period of time.