Air pollution likely to increase not only lungs, but heart disease as well: Experts ahead of Diwali

Representational Image | ANI File

New Delhi [India], October 23 (ANI): As people across the country, including Delhi, are gearing up for Diwali, the problem of air quality is also coming to the fore, as the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) in the national capital touched 266 on Saturday evening.

As per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the AQI index in the overall Delhi region was in the 'Poor' category at 266, 'very poor' category in the Delhi University area at 327, 'poor' quality in Mathura Road at 293 and in 'moderate' category in Gurugram at 156 on Saturday evening.

The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) in the national capital touched 266 today evening.

As Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) continue to breathe toxic air, Chairman of Fortis Escorts Heart Institute Dr Ashok Seth said, "While pollution has only been linked to lung problems as asthma gets worsens, people often ignored the proven fact that air pollution leads to increased heart damages and we should not ignore this."

"In fact, as we have been seeing the increase in heart disease in young people in the last few years, I believe that it is caused by air pollution that has got worse over the last 20 years as well as their lifestyles. For the last 20 years, this has been recognised by all authoritative scientific bodies of cardiology," Dr Seth said.

Dr Seth explained how air pollution causes inflammation in the arteries of the heart and damages the heart.

"When we look at the 2.5 particulate matter, it is known that pollution consists of not just that matter, which also is very harmful and transfers from the lung into the blood vessels, but also gaseous metric, like carbon monoxide like sulphur dioxide like nitrogen, nitrous oxide, all of which are known to be harmful substances. They cause inflammation in the arteries of the heart. When this particulate matter goes into the bloodstream to the lungs, causes inflammation in the arteries of the heart and also causes increased clotting of the blood. And all these two important factors lead to heart attacks and development of damage to the inner lining of the arteries of the heart that causes the position of cholesterol and coronary artery disease."

Dr Seth further said, "These pollutants again to the blood, lead to disturbance in the rhythm of the heart and affect the heart rate. Sometimes, that causes sudden death."

"We are going to see the worst atmosphere in the coming days because of the festive seasons, I think it is time to realise that this has to be taken care of. On the occasion of Diwali, there would be firecrackers and till now, we have no solutions or guidelines or policies for stubble burning. All these will cause lung diseases and heart attacks or heart-related disease," Dr Ashok warned. (ANI)

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