Rice researchers link heart attacks, air pollution
Researchers at Rice University have found a direct correlation between out-of-hospital heart attacks and levels of air pollution and ozone, according to a press release from the school.
"Rice statisticians Katherine Ensor and Loren Raun announced their findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Boston. Their research, based on a massive data set unique to Houston, was published this week in the American Heart Association journal Circulation," according to the press release. "For the new study, the authors analyzed eight years' worth of data drawn from Houston's extensive network of air-quality monitors and more than 11,000 concurrent out-of-hospital cardiac arrests logged by Houston Emergency Medical Services."
They found a positive correlation between OHCAs and exposure to both fine particulate matter (airborne particles smaller than 2.5 micrograms) and ozone, the release said.
The work is expected to help Houston EMS fine-tune its deployment of personnel and equipment and provide early warnings to health officials and the public when weather and/or incidents warrant an alert for high ozone levels in specific areas, Ensor said in the release.
Rice University is at 6100 Main St., Houston.
For more information, call 713-348-4058 or visit www.rice.edu.
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