Amie Lund, a University of North Texas assistant professor of Biological Sciences, is researching the possible connection between air pollution and deaths due to cardiovascular disease and stroke, according to a UNT news release.
Annually, about 3 million deaths are linked to outdoor air pollution, and Lund is researching the effects of traffic-generated pollution on humans. She found that pollution and higher levels of oxidized “bad” cholesterol in the body are related.
“There are also higher death rates resulting from those two health conditions on days of high pollution.”
“We know on days of higher levels of pollution, there are higher admissions of heart attacks and strokes,” Lund said. “There are also higher death rates resulting from those two health conditions on days of high pollution.”
In her experiments, Lund found that air pollution exposure causes plaque in the blood vessels to grow bigger. Growth of plaque in the blood vessels can lead to heart attack and stroke.
“We must limit exposure to air pollution, especially on high ozone days. We know ozone is bad for the cardiovascular system. We can’t eliminate our risks, but we can minimize it,” Lund said.
Lund’s deep-rooted goal is for her research to lead to pollution policy changes and help with designing drugs that will treat to prevent stroke and cardiovascular problems.
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