Environmental factors linked to heart disease risk. Cardiovascular disease affects the heart and blood vessels. CVDs are the leading cause of death around the world.
Recent research shows that some environmental factors — such as pollution and climate change —significantly contribute to a person’s risk of developing CVDs.
This study now appears in the journal Cardiovascular Research. It also reveals some mitigation strategies that could help reduce the global spread of CVDs.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that CVDs are the leading cause of death globally. CVDs can raise the risk of heart attack and stroke, accounting for 4 out of every 5 deaths due to CVDs.
Factors that can cause the CVDs risk includes smoking, less physical activity, eating a diet high in salt and low in fruits and vegetables, and drinking a lot of alcohol. These behaviors can lead to hypertension, high blood sugar levels, overweight, and obesity.
Now, researchers are looking at the role that environmental factors play in the risk of developing CVDs. The solution to decrease the risk of developing CVDs is by reducing these risk factors.
“Because 70–80% of CVD and diabetes [cases] are due to environmental factors, we can significantly diminish the risk of these diseases only if we identify and understand the environmental factors that contribute to them,” Prof. Aruni Bhatnagar, who is an expert on CVDs. “Research on environmental causes of disease could thus help in reorienting and focusing prevention efforts and making them more effective,” Prof. Bhatnagar added.