Heart Failure, the annual congress of the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), provided the latest insights into the health risks that are linked with development of heart failure and technology that could help identify patients at risk of deteriorating.
Taking place in Madrid, Spain, Heart Failure 2022 highlighted the latest research on risk factors, heart failure management and the role of technology. Among the insights presented at the event were the latest findings from Italian researchers on the role of air pollution and its association with a deadly rhythm disorder. Life-threatening arrhythmias are more common on days with highly polluted air, according to research presented at the congress.1 The study was conducted in patients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), enabling the authors to track the occurrence of arrhythmias and delivery of life-saving therapy.
“Our study suggests that people at high risk of ventricular arrhythmias, such as those with an ICD, should check daily pollution levels,” said study author, Dr. Alessia Zanni, now working at Maggiore Hospital, Bologna and previously at Piacenza Hospital, Italy. “When particulate matter (PM) 2.5 and PM 10 concentrations are high (above 35 μg/ m3 and 50 μg/m3, respectively), it would be sensible to stay indoors as much as possible and wear an N95 mask outside, particularly in areas of heavy traffic. An air purifier can be used at home.”
Outdoor air pollution kills an estimated 4.2 million people every year, according to the World Health Organization.2 Nearly one in five cardiovascular disease deaths are due to dirty air, which was ranked the fourth highest risk factor for mortality after high blood pressure, tobacco use and poor diet.3
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