The Los Angeles Times’ Greenspace blog is reporting on a new study conducted by researchers from USC and UC Berkeley that found a connection between air pollution and hardening of the arteries. According to the paper that was first published in the journal PloS ONE, people who live within 100 meters of a freeway were found to have their artery wall thickness accelerated at more than twice the average progression. From the Abstract:
Consistent with cross-sectional findings and animal studies, this is the first study to report an association between exposure to air pollution and the progression of atherosclerosis — indicated with CIMT change — in humans. Ostensibly, our results suggest that air pollution may contribute to the acceleration of cardiovascular disease development — the main causes of morbidity and mortality in many countries. However, the heterogeneity of the volunteering populations across the five trials, the limited sample size within trials and other relevant subgroups, and the fact that some key findings reached statistical significance in subgroups rather than the sample precludes generalizations to the general population.