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Rome, Italy. Associate professor David Rich who is currently with the University of Rochester, New York, has presented a disturbing discovery regarding the harmful effects of living near roads where constant traffic occurs.

Apparently, the five-year study established the fact that people who have their accommodations or homes near areas where there is permanent and on-going traffic have higher chances of acquiring a lot of illnesses and diseases. Rich emphasized the dangerous effect of traffic to the heart.

Traffic, as he highlighted, can cause increased risk for heart disease due to the intolerable amount of stress the ghastly pollution that the gas-powered vehicles bring.

Presented during the EuroPRevent 2013, Rich discussed that the study was done on more than 4,000 people in Germany who lives near huge roadways and is exposed to constant traffic. According to the study, car fumes, mostly from diesel, emits very fine particle matter from internal combustion engines (ICE). This fine particle matter that measures approximately 2.5 micrometers has the capability, due to its very small property, to enter the deepest parts of the lung. 2.5 micrometers is 1/100 thinner than the human hair!

Once the fine particle matter enters the body’s system through the lungs, it will promote the formation of atherosclerosis by nearly 20%. The risk increases by 10% for every 100 meters or 300 feet distance  from the road. This means that the nearer you are, the higher risk you have for having a heart disease caused by atherosclerosis. Stroke is another major condition and is an effect of atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis, for a bit of info, is the narrowing and hardening of the arteries. The illness is progressive and can reach to the point that blockage results. When there is blockage in the arteries, blood flow is comprised. The major organs in the body, one of which is the heart, suffer tremendously. If the heart does not receive enough amount of blood, this results to a lot of diseases.

Traffic pollution has also been linked to numerous health problems concerning the lungs. People who are asthmatic and are allergic to dust are severely advised not to live alongside major roads. For optimum health reasons, it is still appropriate to live far away from the city as possible where there is abundance of fresh air.

Stress due to noise created by traffic is another reason for the occurrence of major heart diseases like stroke. Lead researcher Dr. Hagen Kalsch of the West-German Heart Center agrees to Rich’s findings and stated that the significance of long-term exposure to air and traffic pollution is highly correlated to increased risk for atherosclerosis formation.



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