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How to deal with rising pollution levels and protect heart health – 7 tips from a doctor health news


Rising pollution levels around the world, especially in India, have raised concerns about cardiac health. Dr Manoj Kumar, Principal Director and Unit Head – Cath Lab Cardiac Sciences, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Patparganj, shares, β€œThe growing concern over the impact of air pollution on cardiovascular health has attracted significant scientific attention, confirming the urgent need for effective remedies. Urban centres, Struggling with increasing levels of air pollution, there is an increasing incidence of cardiac conditions, including arrests, which is largely attributed to the widespread presence of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). These microscopic pollutants, once inhaled, are carried outside the lungs into the blood. enter the bloodstream, induce systemic inflammation and increase the risk of heart disease.”

Against this background, it is crucial to adopt targeted strategies to reduce exposure and strengthen heart health, says Dr. Kumar. He lists the following seven steps to combat rising pollution and protect heart health:

1. Improved Air Quality Precautions: Continuous monitoring of local Air Quality Index (AQI) readings through reliable digital platforms equips individuals with the knowledge to avoid outdoor exposure during peak pollution episodes. Outdoor activities that coincide with periods of improved air quality can significantly reduce the risk of inhaling harmful pollutants.

2. Strategic Indoor Air Management: Investing in residential and workplace high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifiers can significantly improve indoor air quality. Regular ventilation, balanced with consideration of outdoor air quality, further helps reduce indoor pollution levels.

3. Use of protective masks: In the event of unavoidable exposure to polluted air, the application of an N95 or equivalent mask acts as an important barrier against particulate matter, effectively protecting respiratory and cardiovascular health.

4. Adaptation of exercise regimen: Shifting to indoor exercise options, particularly in spaces equipped with improved air filtration systems, prevents the adverse cardiovascular effects of exercise in polluted environments.

5. Nutritional Antioxidant Support: A diet rich in antioxidants plays an important role in preventing oxidative stress induced by air pollutants. Including an array of antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains strengthens the body’s defenses against pollution-related oxidative damage.

6. Promotion of urban greening: Active participation and support in urban greening initiatives not only contributes to improving local air quality but also promotes community well-being. Vegetation acts as a natural air filter, which underscores the importance of policies and practices that expand green spaces within the urban landscape.

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7. Commitment to regular health surveillance: Periodic cardiovascular health assessments enable early detection and management of pollution-induced health effects, facilitating timely intervention and treatment strategies.

“By taking these comprehensive steps, individuals can significantly reduce the adverse effects of air pollution on cardiovascular health, charting a path towards a healthier future in the face of environmental challenges,” said Dr Kumar.