Heart attack patients are more likely to survive on warmer, less polluted days, research indicates. A study presented at the ESC Congress Saturday also showed patients at high risk of a heart attack were admitted to a hospital more often on warmer, windier, sunnier and drier days with high air pollution. Similarly, patient treatment was more successful on less polluted days.
"Weather changes like rain or heat affect our daily activity and even our productivity at work," said Aneta Cislak, research fellow in the Silesian Center for Heart Diseases, Medical University of Silesia in Zabrze, Poland. "Since this influence is so noticeable we were interested to see if weather has any connection with cardiovascular diseases including acute coronary syndromes."
The research found higher one month and in-hospital mortality on colder, sunnier and less windy days. Cislak's team was unable to explain why those are linked. "We hope that further studies will help us to verify and understand it better," she said.
The news followed a series of recent breakthroughs in identifying the causes of heart attacks and treating them. Earlier this month, an investigation trial for the Type II diabetes drug Jardiance was found to reduce the risk of heart attacks. It is the only drug to have successfully shown a reduction in the occurrence of cardiovascular events. In June, a big data study showed a link between certain heartburn medicines and heart attack risk.
The research Cislak's team carried out also linked air pollution to treatment outcomes. The team conducted the research in Silesia, the most urbanized region in Poland. The findings linked successful coronary artery treatment with lower concentrations of carbon monoxide, ozone and nitric oxide, alongside sunnier, less windy and colder weather. "One of the possible explanations for this finding is that air pollutants like carbon monoxide bind irreversibly to hemoglobin and impair blood oxygen transport," Cislak said.
The team is now expanding its research from the initial 2,388 patients observed to study 600,000 patients with cardiovascular disease. The research will look further into the impact of weather and air pollution on treatment.