Pollution Tied to Heart Attacks – Could Hispanics Be at Risk?


The polluted air we breathe could be leading to more heart attacks. It’s especially troubling for Latinos, who already have a higher tendency to asthma.
VOXXI reports that, “Individuals with peak exposure to air pollutants, such as those emitted by cars and factories, have a 5 percent increased risk for heart attacks, indicates research from Rice University. While men, non-Hispanic blacks and people older than age 65 had the highest risk factors in the data, Hispanics may actually be at increased risk with already high cardiovascular disease rates and being more likely to live in polluted areas.”
The study was conducted on residents in Houston, Texas and revealed that exposure to air pollutants for as little as two days greatly increases a person’s risk of heart attacks. Individuals living in poorer urban areas, especially Latinos, are at an increased risk. Travel to heavily polluted areas could also increase the risk.
“We already have higher rates of asthma than others in our country because Latinos live in poor communities where there are lots of air pollutants, but especially we are looking at smog and ozone,” said Elena Rios, president and CEO of National Hispanic Medical Association back in 2011. At that time, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), National Latino Coalition on Climate Change, the Center for American Progress and the National Wildlife Federation joined forces to bring about awareness regarding the risk of pollution exposure for Latinos.
Latinos have a higher incidence of asthma suffering in comparison to non Latinos.  Pollutants are certainly unavoidable, and the increased risk of a heart attack is all the more troubling.
“While the Rice University data found an overall increase in heart attack risk for all people exposed to smog, Hispanics were not specifically named in the study data as a high-risk group. It is not known if the Houston-specific study found a higher prevalence of cardiac arrest among men, non-Hispanic blacks and the elderly due to unique population densities or due to outstanding health factors already predisposing those groups to heart disease,” Voxxi reported.