Studies Claim that Air Pollution Increases Risk of Stroke
According to a health review by experts, air pollution is among the top 10 contributors to strokes, which can result in disability and death.
These debilitating effects of strokes are commonly observed in developing nations, thus increasing the concern about air pollution and its impact on health.
There are several sources of air pollution according to studies. For instance, it may originate from the outside such as in traffic fumes and exhaust, while in other cases, it may be from cooking fires or other pollutants in the air. Due to exposure to air pollution, not only are you at risk of suffering from a stroke, but also increasing your chances of developing high blood pressure and other ailments.
After accumulating numerous scientific studies, an international research team assessed data to further explore the impact of air pollution on health. The researchers were able to develop a mathematical model, which presented the risk of stroke in a total of 188 countries, specifically between 1990 and 2013.
In a statement by Valery Feigin, co-author of the said study conducted by researchers in the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, he revealed the high incidences of stroke in developing nations due to air pollution. The number of people suffering from this condition was much higher in these countries compared to other parts of the world. Moreover, the researchers added that this study was the first one to quantify the cases of stroke that have led to death or disability.
As much as 15 million individuals throughout the world suffer from strokes annually. There are also about six million people who have died, while five million have disability issues including loss of speech, confusion, poor vision and paralysis.
On a global scale, there were significant differences between regions and nations when it came to the leading cause of death and stroke. In fact, it was revealed that obesity, a diet high in salt, poor food choices, high blood pressure and smoking have resulted in stroke and other fatal medical conditions. It is also worth noting that ambient pollution has turned out to be one of the top seven causes of stroke, followed by household air pollution due to solid fuels. Other issues that have resulted in stroke include high blood sugar level and a diet that has an insufficient amount of whole grains.
There was another surprising finding by these researchers, namely that 90.5 percent of cases of stroke were linked with modifiable factors. These mainly included a high consumption of sugar or smoking habits. Some other health problems also increase people’s chances of suffering from a stroke, such as heart disease and diabetes. Lack of exercise and poor diet are also common culprits.
In richer nations, a great way to decrease cases of stroke is by improving one’s lifestyle. If this is done, at least three-quarters of stroke cases throughout the world can be prevented. This can give people a chance to reap a better quality of life that is free from serious health risks.
Since air pollution is a modifiable factor that leads to stroke, it is an issue that can be resolved when properly addressed. The government can find ways to change this issue and help people enhance their health and life in general. The findings are also essential for education campaigns and to prioritize the task of preventing stroke.
Researchers have discovered that in Africa and Asia, about one-fifth of stroke cases resulted from air pollution indoors. However, the same percentage was caused by ambient air pollution, primarily in India and China. Indeed, air pollution has increased people’s risks of having harder and blocked blood vessels, along with high blood pressure. Secondhand smoke from tobacco fumes also caused a spike in stroke cases in developed nations from 1990 to 2013.