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The Air You Breathe Can Give You a Stroke

It's been predicted that the world will experience a severe oil shortage, starting ten years from now. One way to handle this would be to develop alternate fuels. What's more likely to happen is that countries will burn coal instead, because there's plenty of that left. However, scientists say that high pollution levels, of the kind caused by burning coal, make people more likely to have a stroke.

Scientists in Taiwan found there are higher hospital admission rates when pollution is high, especially in host weather. Particulates and nitrogen dioxide seem to be the main causes. Previous research shows a link between air pollution and death rates from respiratory and heart disease.

Researcher Chun-Yuh Yang says, "This study provides new evidence that higher levels of ambient pollutants increase the risk of hospital admissions for stroke, especially on warm days. In hot weather, we recommend that people avoid pollution, stay inside and use an air conditioner if needed."

They think air pollution makes the blood more sticky, making it harder for the heart to pump it around the body, increasing the risk it may clot, and that blood vessels will be damaged.

Cardiologist John Reid says, "I would also have some concerns about the fairly glib superficial statement that people should keep out of rush hour traffic jams and stay inside with the air conditioner. This is not really a very practical approach to stroke prevention."

Why don't we clean up our air? It has nothing to do with political payoffs? does it?

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