Natural Alternative to Heart Problems | Health Blog

Date: 07/31/2007    Written by: Jon Barron

Surprise! Cars Cause Heart Disease


According to a study recently published in the American Heart Association’s Journal, Circulation, the closer people live to roads with heavy traffic and high air pollution, the greater their risk of developing atherosclerosis (hardened arteries), which can lead to heart disease and stroke.

So what is it in automobile exhaust that causes atherosclerosis? Quite simply, it’s anything that makes its way into the bloodstream that can cause damage to the lining of the arteries, thereby triggering plaque build up to repair the damage.

In car exhaust, this can include carbon monoxide, nitrates, sulfur dioxide, and ozone. But it may not just be the car exhaust that’s the culprit here. It might be “street dust,” the particulate matter that settles on the road and is stirred up by passing traffic. This can include a whole range of heavy metals, including lead, cadmium, nickel, and platinum (from catalytic converters).

Possible Villains

  • Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and highly poisonous gas and is a primary pollutant in car exhaust. When the level of CO in blood increases, the level of oxygen that blood can carry decreases. Although this may not directly cause damage to the arteries, it has been shown in studies to significantly increase the risk factors in those already prone to cardiovascular problems.
  • Sulfur dioxide increases acid levels in the body which makes it harder for the body to clear lactic acid from the muscles surrounding the arteries, exacerbating damage to the arterial wall.
  • Heavy metals are a primary trigger in cardiovascular disease – one of the reasons that chelation therapy can make such a difference in the condition of your cardiovascular system.

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    Submitted by Ajlouny on
    May 24, 2009 - 1:29pm

    For some reason I am not surprised by this. All those toxic emissions that come out of cars have got to do some kind of damage when inhaled over a long period of time. Feel like the safest way of living is with a mask that will filter out the bad air.

    Submitted by John on
    September 23, 2012 - 8:03pm

    I was living three year in apatmant close to very frequent street. There was a lot of noise. I beleive that was the reason why I got heart disease and after that heart attack. Now I moved out but I'm paying the price, I have a lot of angina pain and weakness on my left arm.

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