Air quality is a factor that puts people with cardiovascular disease (CVD) conditions at higher risk for heart problems and stroke.
Poor air quality (ozone and particle pollution) poses serious health threats including:
- Respiratory harm (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis)
- Cardiovascular harm (heart failure, stroke, heart disease)
- Ozone Air Pollution Is Associated With Higher Rates of Acute Myocardial Infarction*
- Reproductive and developmental harm
Data showed that people living in cities with the dirtiest air died on average two years earlier than residents of cities with the cleanest air**.
Vulnerable populations include:
- People with cardiovascular disease
- People with existing lung diseases
- Anyone 65 and older, children and teens
The most at-risk population, is the state of California, where over 35 million Californians (91%) live in counties affected by unhealthy air during the year, compared to U.S. national rate of 38.9%.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has created the Air Quality Index as a tool for agencies and individuals to check air quality by state zip code.
*Ruidavets J-B, et al. Ozone air pollution is associated with acute myocardial infarction. Circulation. 2005; 111:563-569
**Dockery, et al. An Association between Air Pollution and Mortality in Six U.S. Cities. NEJM. 1993; 329:1753-1759