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Study: Air Pollution Increases Risk of Stroke

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Copenhagen, DenmarkA new Danish study revealed that air pollution from car exhaust could trigger strokes in some people.

The study showed that short-term exposure to certain air pollutants increased the admission rate for mild strokes in hospitals near Copenhagen, Denmark, according to Reuters. The team also noted that much more research needs to be done to confirm its findings.

Researchers spent four years monitoring air pollution and hospital admissions rates to complete the study. They eventually determined that for patients who do not have heart abnormalities that would make them stroke-prone, exposure to certain air pollutants caused a 21 percent increase in hospital admissions for mild strokes.

"Our data suggest that exposure to increased levels of air pollution over several days can trigger stroke hospitalization," said Dr. Zorana Andersen of the Danish Cancer Society in Copenhagen. "But we don't know yet how air pollution triggers stroke."

Andersen also noted that air pollution inflicted strokes are not a problem limited to the elderly and that seemingly healthy individuals can be affected.

According to the American Heart Association, Americans experience about 795,000 strokes each year.

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