A team from London’s King’s College collected air data from London, Bristol, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Southampton, Oxford and Nottingham stated that high level of air pollution in the country triggers acute asthmatic attacks, heart strokes on those days. They compared days on which the pollution levels were above average with cardiac arrest cases and revealed it led to 124 more such cases during the year. According to NHS’s director Simon Stevens this report showcases a state of health emergency in the country as the data is based only on ambulance call data and not on heart attacks suffered by patients in hospital.
The study shows health risks caused by air pollution that contributes to almost 500000 premature deaths in Europe annually. When the pollution levels are high across nine cities the researchers calculated that there were 231 extra stroke related hospital admissions while 193 extra cases of children and adult asthma patients were admitted. According to Dr. Heather Walton of London’s Environmental Research Group air pollution reduction policies are connected with improving life expectancy. High pollution days in London now leads to extra 87 cases of cardiac arrests annually while extra 74 children and 33 adults come to hospital with asthma issues.
At Birmingham the figure on high pollution days would be 12 new out of hospital cardiac arrest cases followed by 27 additional cases of stroke and 26 for asthma. Other cities Liverpool, Manchester, Oxford, Bristol, Southampton and Nottingham would see around 2-6 cases of out of hospital heart attacks along with 14 extra hospital admissions for asthma and stroke. Long term risks associated with high levels of pollution are low birth weight and stunted lung growth. Research also suggests that reduction in air pollution even by one fifth would help to bring down lung cancer cases by 5-7 % across all nine cities.