Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Tiny blood vessels show pollution, heart disease link
"By photographing tiny blood vessels in a person's eyes, researchers have found a way to link exposure to air pollution with a higher risk of heart disease, a study published Tuesday said. "New digital photos of the retina revealed that otherwise healthy people exposed to high levels of air pollution had narrower retinal arterioles, an indication of a higher risk of heart disease," said the study in PLoS Medicine. A person who was exposed to low level of pollution in a short time period showed the microvascular - or extremely tiny -- blood vessels "of someone three years older," it said. Someone who faced longer term exposure to high levels of pollution had the blood vessels of someone seven years older, it said"