Public release date: 25-Jun-2012
Contact: Carrie Thacker
American Heart Association
New evidence links ozone exposure to potential heart attacks
Young, healthy adult volunteers exposed for two hours to ozone developed physiological changes associated with cardiovascular ailments, according to a small study reported in Circulation, an American Heart Association journal.
Study participants showed evidence of vascular inflammation, a potential reduced ability to dissolve artery-blocking blood clots, and changes in the autonomic nervous system that controls the heart's rhythm. The changes were temporary and reversible in these young, healthy participants.
Ground level ozone is created when pollutants from vehicles, power plants, industry, chemical solvents and consumer products react in the presence of sunlight. Recent epidemiology studies have reported associations between acute exposure to ozone and death but little is known about the underlying pathophysiological pathways responsible.