The household air pollution can increase the risk of heart diseases, according to a study done by a Spanish institution in some semi-urban regions of South India.
The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by “la Caixa”, has done the study to further explore the links between ambient and household air pollution and carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), a marker of atherosclerosis.
The study showed that people most exposed to fine particles have a higher CIMT index, which means they are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as stroke or heart attack.
Atherosclerosis is characterised by an accumulation of fat, cholesterol and other substances along the wall of the arteries, and a non-invasive way to identify it is by measuring the thickness of the innermost layers of the carotid artery (CIMT) with ultrasound. To date, studies associating CIMT with air pollution exposure were limited to high-income countries or to moderate levels of air pollution.
The study was performed with 3,372 participants from a periurban region of Hyderabad, Telangana, in southern India. The research team measured CIMT and estimated exposure to air pollution using an algorithm called land use regression (LUR).The participants also provided information on the type of cooking fuel they used.