A study out of West Virginia found that estrogen may protect post menopausal women’s hearts against against the effects of air pollution that causes atherosclerosis (stiff vessels) in the heart. (So far, the study is just in lab animals). Okay…but let’s back track a bit.
Almost no one likes the fumes of diesel…it makes me dizzy and nauseated. But this study is actually pointing to January 2007 federally funded study of 65,893 women found that the fine grit in polluted air boosts the risk of heart disease in women who have gone through menopause.
That study found that:
Older women are at significantly higher risk for heart problems caused by air pollution than other people.
If you think about this, it makes sense. Look at cigarette smoking…if you smoke you are creating your own personal air pollution. Thus you endanger yourself and those who happen to be passively smoking your cigarette exhaust.
It is no different that what has been found with other forms of particulate air pollution. Breathe in lots of particulates and you damage your heart and your lungs.
So while estrogen may help these lab animals, and perhaps prove to be beneficial to women in this specific situation…remember, it’s only part of the puzzle. The jury is still out on estrogen – so please don’t rush to your provider and ask to be put on it purely as a result of this study.
A better approach to this situation is to reduce your exposure to particulates and for the world to begin to clean up its air. If not…breathing could kill you.
For further information on this visit the American Lung Association’s State of Air: 2007