"Around the world, breathing a variety of air pollutants – in some cases for a single day – increases the chance that people will suffer heart attacks, according to a new analysis published Tuesday. For the first time, scientists analyzed previous studies from five continents to verify and quantify the links between air pollution and heart health. They found that short-term exposure – less than seven days – to all major air pollutants except ozone was associated with an increase in heart attacks.
The team from France and the U.S. reported in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. that the magnitude of the risk “is relatively small” compared to other factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes. But they stressed that so many people worldwide are breathing fine particulates, carbon monoxide and other pollutants that the numbers of people at risk are substantial."