Air Quality and Cardiovascular Disease

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.