University of Buffalo and Research Team Study Identify Potential Connection Between Chinese Air Pollution and Growing Cardiovascular Disease

Jul 16, 2019 | Air Pollution, Cardiovascular Disease, China

Cholesterol plaque in artery

The University of Buffalo along with collaborators have provided pathophysiologic evidence that air pollution impacts cardiovascular disease in China. In fact, the findings suggest that China may need to revise its standard for one type of pollutant.

Published in JAMA Open Network, the team studied 8,867 Chinese adults aged 25 to 92. This was one of the first studies to investigate the connection between air pollution and coronary artery calcium in China. It may offer evidence that coronary atherosclerosis represents a pathological pathway through which air pollution exposure increases the risk of death from coronary heart disease reported one of the researchers.

What Is Atherosclerosis?

It refers to the buildup of plaque, or fatty deposits, in the artery walls, which over time, restricts blood flow through the arteries. The result can be blood clots and ultimately heart attacks or strokes.

Air Pollution in China

Air pollution in China represents a dangerous condition. By 2015, more than 95% of the Chinese population was exposed to concentrations of PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide far greater than the minimum level of the team’s study.

Deaths in China Related

Up to 40% of deaths in China are associated with cardiovascular disease. Should this study be true and exposure to intensive, unhealthy amounts of air pollutants could be contributing to the cardiovascular problem then the correlation becomes truly a deadly one.

Research Institutions Involved in the Study

  • University of Buffalo
  • University of Washington, Seattle
  • Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences
  • Tsinghua University
  • Emory University
  • Harbor UCLA Medical Center

Lead Research/Investigator

Meng Wang, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Buffalo, NY


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