Author: Lily Nedda Dastmalchi

Rise in heart disease may be explained by extreme weather conditions: Study

Source(s): ABC News

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Since that heat wave in 1995, climate change has intensified globally with wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, heat waves and cold spells leading to famine and drought. As a result of these extreme changes, the medical community is noticing an increasing rate of heart disease.

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Particulate matter, tiny particles in the air invisible to the naked eye, are produced by greenhouse gasses and carbon emissions. These particles can enter your lungs and bloodstream, wreaking havoc on tissues that are vital to a healthy cardiovascular system. Over time, prolonged exposure to pollution can contribute to increased clotting, high blood pressure and sleep disturbances.

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Experts say it's difficult to directly blame individual heart attacks on heat waves based on currently available data. However, there is research to suggest a close relationship, as regions with excessive heat or freezing temperature had alarmingly higher episodes of heart attack, according to a June study in Nature Reviews Cardiology.

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study published earlier this month in the journal Nature Cardiovascular Research found that even medications used to treat heart disease may work differently during heat waves.

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