How to deal with rising pollution levels and protect heart health – 7 tips from a doctor

Rising pollution levels around the world, especially in India, have raised concerns about heart health. Dr. Manoj Kumar, Principal Director and Unit Head – Cath Lab Cardiac Sciences, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Patparganj, shares, “The growing concern over the impact of air pollution on cardiovascular health has attracted significant scientific attention, which calls for effective countermeasures. Confirms the urgent need for measures. urban. Cities grappling with rising levels of air pollution are facing a rising incidence of cardiovascular problems including arrests, largely due to the widespread presence of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). These microscopic pollutants, once inhaled, enter the bloodstream beyond the lungs, provoking systemic inflammation and increasing the risk of heart disease.”

Given this background, it is extremely important to adopt targeted strategies to reduce risk and improve heart health, says Dr Kumar. They have listed the following seven steps to tackle increasing pollution and protect heart health:

1. Enhanced Air Quality Vigilance: Continuous monitoring of local air quality index (AQI) readings through trusted digital platforms equips individuals with the knowledge to avoid outdoor exposure during extreme pollution episodes. Accommodating outdoor activities with periods of better air quality can markedly reduce the risk of inhaling harmful pollutants.

2. Strategic Indoor Air Management: Investing in high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifiers can significantly improve indoor air quality within residential and workplaces. Regular ventilation, balanced with outdoor air quality considerations, helps reduce indoor pollutant levels.

3. Use of protective masks: In cases of unavoidable exposure to polluted air, the use of an N95 or equivalent mask acts as an important barrier against particulate matter, effectively protecting respiratory and cardiovascular health.

4. Optimization of exercise regimen: A shift to indoor exercise options, especially in spaces equipped with advanced air filtration systems, avoids the adverse cardiovascular effects of exercising in polluted environments.

5. Nutritional Antioxidant Support: Antioxidant-rich diet plays an important role in counteracting oxidative stress induced by air pollutants. Including a variety of antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains strengthens the body’s defenses against pollution-related oxidative damage.

6. Promote urban greenery: Active participation and advocacy in urban greenery initiatives not only contribute to enhancing local air quality but also promote communal well-being. Vegetation acts as a natural air filter, underscoring the importance of policies and practices that expand green spaces within urban landscapes.

7. Commitment to regular health monitoring: Periodic cardiovascular health assessment enables early detection and management of pollution-induced health effects, facilitating timely intervention and treatment strategies.

“By adopting these comprehensive measures, individuals can significantly reduce the adverse effects of air pollution on cardiovascular health, moving towards a healthier future while facing environmental challenges,” says Dr Kumar.

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