Public Release: 

Air pollution linked to heart attack

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Sept. 26, 2005 - Scientists have discovered a link between ambient air pollution and acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack.

An article published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis looks specifically at airborne particulate matter resulting mainly from the combustion of fuel, including coal and also from forest fires. Evidence shows that both short- and long-term exposure to these particulates is associated with death from cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, and more specifically from myocardial infarction.

Additionally, this research, based on a previous study, reveals that those patients with damaged arteries are most at risk to suffer from lung inflammation and fatal blood clots.

Each year, 1.1 million people experience myocardial infarction, which results from the obstruction of a diseased coronary artery.

This study is published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis. Media wishing to receive a PDF of the article, please contact Also available are two letters to the editor (Effects of ambient ozone on the procoagulant status and systemic inflammatory response by Hermans et al and Exposure to diesel exhaust nanoparticles does not induce blood hypercoagulability in an at-risk population by Blomberg et al.) which challenge these results. They are also available to media upon request.

Anyone sensitive to the issue and willing to contribute to help investigating further into the mechanisms involved with thrombosis and haemostasis associated with air pollution are welcome to send their comments to the Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis at All submissions will be evaluated for publication in a special JTH Forum.


About the Author
Jos Vermylen is Professor of Medicine at the Univeristy of Leuven, Belgium and a retired expert on clot development. He can be reached for questions and interviews at

About the Journal
The mission of the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis is to advance science related to the important medical problems of thrombosis, bleeding disorders and vascular biology through the diffusion and exchange of information and ideas within the international research community. The Journal publishes high quality, original research reports, state-of-the art reviews, invited commentary and debate on timely topics, letters and announcements. Editors invite both laboratory and clinical reports. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis is the official journal of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis. Benefits of joining ISTH include a complimentary subscription to the Society's official journal and reduced congress registration fees. To join ISTH, visit or e-mail to

About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 600 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals annually and, to date has published close to 6,000 text and reference books, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.

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