Air pollution, both inside from cooking fires and outside from traffic fumes, ranked among the top 10 causes of stroke. These findings came after an international research team analysed data from several studies, reports and official statistics from 180 different countries over a period of 23 years.
“A striking finding of our study is the unexpectedly high proportion of stroke burden attributable to environmental air pollution, especially in developing countries," said study co-author Valery Feigin of New Zealand's Auckland University of Technology.
Who is at risk?
About 15 million people worldwide suffer strokes every year, of whom nearly six million die and five million are left disabled - including loss of vision or speech, paralysis and confusion.
The top risk factors were high blood pressure, a diet low in fruit, being overweight, eating too much salt, smoking and not eating enough vegetables, with ambient pollution in 7thplace and household air pollution from solid fuels in eighth. High blood sugar and diet low in whole grains complete the top 10.
The researchers found that 95% of strokes can be prevented by better lifestyle choices, including quit smoking, eating less sugar and following a healthy exercise programme.
Air pollution and your heart
The study also revealed that reducing air pollution can decrease one’s risk of a stroke. In low-and middle income nations in Asia and Africa, almost a fifth of stroke cases could be attributed to household air pollution.
Exposure to air pollution may boost stroke risk by raising blood pressure, cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease, particularly in people with diabetes.
"While air pollution is linked with relatively small changes in cardiometabolic risk factors, the continuous nature of exposure and the number of people affected gives us cause for concern," said Victor Novack, MD, PhD, of Soroka University Medical Center and Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel. "Even small changes in glucose levels and glycemic control can contribute to increased risk of cardiovascular disease."
How an air purifier can help
Improving your air quality, not only reduces your stroke risk, but contributes overall to a healthier lifestyle. Quality air purifiers, such as the Airvax Air Purifier, offers protection against fine dusts, exhaust gases from cars, VOCs, viruses, MRSA, molds, bacteria, tobacco smoke carbon monoxide and pet dander.
The Airvax Air Purifier has been tested extensively by independent test houses and has been scientifically proven to be not only effective against pollutants, but more effective than numerous other more expensive air purifiers.
Using the patented Static Electricity Film Filter (SEFF) system, this unit will remove particles in the air as small as 0.1 microns.
The Airvax is safe to use and is ideal for hospitals, nursery schools, day-care centres, at home or at work. It’s great for those suffering from allergies and at-risk patients of heart disease and diabetes as it destroys bacteria and allergens in the filter, and thereby does not release the particles back into the room once captured. Most importantly, the Airvax Air Purifier does not create Ozone and can maintain a healthy living environment for 25m² spaces.