Rise in ED visits for heart attacks, strokes linked to wildfire smoke

Wildfire smoke exposure was linked to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular emergency department visits for U.S. adults, especially adults 65 years and over, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

In 2015, researchers conducted a population‐based epidemiologic analysis of daily cardiovascular and cerebrovascular ED visits and wildfire smoke exposure in eight California air basins.

The study shows rates of all‐cause cardiovascular ED visits were elevated, with the greatest increase on dense smoke days and among those aged 65 years and older. All‐cause cerebrovascular visits were associated with smoke, especially among those 65 years and older.

The elevated risks for individual diagnoses included myocardial infarction, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, dysrhythmia, pulmonary embolism, ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack.

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