- Particles suspended in the air provoke the formation of thrombi, raise blood pressure and cause the vasoconstriction of main arteries
- Air pollution affects the immune system and causes a type of autoimmune alopecia
Valencian Community/ Murcia Region, March 21, 2019. The unstoppable rise of air pollution and the toxic particles present not only in the air, but also in the water and in food, constitute an elevated risk for cardiovascular diseases, states Doctor Rafael Florenciano, Cardiologist at Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja.
As Doctor Florenciano explains, the increase in polluting particles that is produced during anti-cyclonic periods, which do not allow these particles to disperse, causing them to remain suspended in the air, favour the development of thrombi, cause an increase in blood pressure and the vasoconstriction of the coronary arteries responsible for supplying blood to the heart and the brain. “All these factors,” comments the cardiologist, “can be the cause of a greater number of myocardial infarctions, arrhythmias and cerebrovascular infarctions. In addition, high exposure to environmental pollution enables the quick progression of arteriosclerotic disease, which causes a greater accumulation of fat in major arteries.”
The sectors of the population that could be most affected by this phenomenon would be the elderly, those that suffer from a prior cardiovascular disease, or those who present some of its risk factors, such as diabetics. Doctor Florenciano recommends that these patients take preventive measures or avoid exposure on days with the highest pollution levels, and that they take the medications prescribed by their specialists.
Our Skin, another Organ Significantly affected by Pollution
Air polluting agents, such as volatile organic, molecules that react to oxygen, ozone, or simply tobacco smoke, weaken our skin barrier, and contribute to altering our skin, causing oxidising damage, and consequently premature aging and an increase in psoriasis or acne outbreaks.
“Sensitive and atopic skin,” points out Doctor José María Ricart, Head of the Dermatology Service at Hospital Quirónsalud Valencia and Director of the Instituto Médico Ricart, “are the most vulnerable to the effects of pollution and decrease in moisture. The effects in the short and medium terms cause the appearance of different dermatological affectations, such as xerosis, eczema and scaling, since skin tends to become dry and red. In addition, our skin is a natural barrier against external agents, a function that is progressively weakened, exposing it to allergic symptoms.”
Environmental pollution also alters our capillary health, and its contaminating particles cause inflammatory reactions or irritations that cause scaling and favour the appearance of dermatitis or dandruff. The dermatologist highlights the role that pollution plays in the health of the whole immune system, an important factor for capillary health. “The immune system is made up of a vital network of cells and organs that protect the body from disease-causing infections,” explains Doctor Ricart, “and its alteration may cause a type of autoimmune alopecia, the progress of which can be stopped with a treatment prescribed by trichologist dermatologist to stimulate tissue regeneration and the growth of hair follicles.”
Quirónsalud is the leading hospital group in Spain and, together with its Fresenius-Helios headquarters, also in Europe. It has over 40,000 professionals in over 125 healthcare centres, which include 47 hospitals that offer close to 7,000 hospital beds. It offers the most advanced technology and an important team of highly specialised professionals of international renown. Its centres include Centro Médico Teknon, Ruber Internacional, Hospital Universitario Quirónsalud Madrid, Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Hospital Quirónsalud Barcelona, Hospital Universitario Dexeus, Policlínica de Gipuzkoa, etc.
The Group works on the promotion of teaching (eight of its centres are university hospitals) and medical-scientific research (it boasts the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria [Healthcare Research Institute] of the FJD, the only private research centre certified by the Secretaría de Estado de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación [Ministry for Research, Development and Innovation]).
In addition, its care system is organized in transversal networks and units that enable the optimisation of the accumulated experience of the different centres, and the clinical application of its research. Currently, Quirónsalud is developing over 1,600 research projects throughout Spain, and many of its centres perform leading work in this sense, as pioneers in different specialisations such as oncology, cardiology, endocrinology, gynaecology and neurology, among others.