Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Smog increases risk for women’s strokes – how to protect yourself

Smog and fine particle air pollution can be
a risk to people's health and well-being.
Two recent studies have found that living in areas with high air pollution levels increases the risk of suffering a stroke for older women.

One California Department of Public Health study examined more than 100,000 women over a period of six years and found that older women residing in areas with higher levels of fine particle pollution were at a significantly higher risk of first-time strokes.

A Brown University study came to the same conclusion and calculated the risk increase at 34 percent.

A stroke can be deadly, since it happens when a blood vessel in the brain is either blocked or ruptured, which can deprive the brain of oxygen. A stroke can also leave people paralyzed or unable to speak/understand.

Health experts have some tips for women of a certain age how they may protect themselves – but these bits of advice also apply to all other generations and sexes:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Stay active
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Control blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Exercise or stay indoors when smog warnings are in place
  • Get politically involved to promote urban development that encourages walking and biking

Some regions have implemented programs tailored to reducing the risks of strokes and heart attacks for women ages 40-64.

To get a similar program or other types of help, people are urged to write to their elected officials and get involved in community organizations.

Source: The Press-Enterprise

Keep outdoor pollution out with air purifiers

Living in a polluted area can expose people to fine particles and chemicals even inside their own home, since outdoor air pollutants often find a way to enter a building through windows and doors, cracks and openings.
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Once inside, air pollutants can build up to dangerous levels.

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