Living Close to Roads..

Discoveries

Living Close to Roads Increases the Size of the Heart

Small particles of air pollution and living close to traffic have been linked to heart disease in a number of large studies, but the relationship between air pollution and the size or pumping ability of the heart has not been studied. Increased heart size and decreased pumping ability of the heart are associated with heart diseases like heart failure. This study found a relationship between living close to major roadways and the size of the heart, such that living within 50 meters of a major roadway was associated with a small increase in heart size. Living close to roadways was not associated with changes in the pumping ability of the heart, and background levels of small particle air pollution were not associated with heart size or pumping ability.

Van Hee VC, Adar SD, Szpiro AA, Barr RG, Bluemke DA, Diez Roux AV, Gill EA, Sheppard L, Kaufman JD. Exposure to Traffic and Left Ventricular Mass and Function The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2009;179(9):827-834