Air Pollution May Cause Irregular Heartbeats In Healthy Teenagers

Air pollution can be very bad for your heart health. Research has found that inhaling polluted air can cause irregular heartbeat in teens.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarPublished at: Sep 15, 2022Updated at: Sep 15, 2022
Air Pollution May Cause Irregular Heartbeats In Healthy Teenagers

Air pollution is catastrophic for lungs but it can also impact other organs including heart. If you get exposed to air pollution regularly, you may experience irregular heartbeat or heart arrhythmia. The American Heart Association conducted a study to analyse the effect of air pollution on the heart of teenager. They found that healthy adolescents are prone to suffering from heart issues as a negative impact of pollution.

There are different particles in the air. Fine particulates whose size is less then 2.5 microns or particles under ‘PM2.5’ list gets into the lungs easily as you inhale the polluted air. These particles are mostly released in fuel combustion including car exhaust, coal combustion and wildfires. The fine particulates may also enter your bloodstream and get circulated to the other organs. Over time, these pollutants reach to your heart and affect arteries. This may aggravate heart arrhythmia and other chronic complications.

In order to investigate the impact of inhaling these fine particulates, the team looked at two types of arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat- premature atrial contraction(PAC) and premature ventricular contractions (PVC). These premature contractions in the heart have different origins but equal risk of clotting, stroke, heart failure, heart attack and cardiac arrest. There are many complications associated with inhaling polluted air that we come to know later.

As this study suggests, teenagers are susceptible to irregular heartbeats but most of them are unaware of it. If you skip a heartbeat or experience pounding heart or fast heartbeat, seeking a medical advise is extremely important. The doctor may suggest the best treatment for the situation.

Air pollution may trigger arrhythmia in adolescents

This conclusion is derived after doing a detailed cohort study on 300+ healthy adolescents from Pennsylvania. The children participated in this study were healthy with no history of cardiovascular conditions. The research team used  Nephelometer to measure the fine particulates inhaled by the the teen and also monitored their ECG.

One of the researchers from the team explained, "Our study found that air pollution increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and sudden cardiac death, even among healthy adolescents. Protective measures, such as wearing masks and avoiding vigorous physical activities, may be warranted on days that particulate matter concentration is high, especially during early morning rush hours."

Air pollution is dangerous and we need to take all possible steps to prevent its inhalation. This can damage lungs, heart and may also trigger chronic ailments. It is very important to be vigilant towards our health.

Image credits- freepik

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