Traffic: Hazardous to Your Heart?

Traffic jams can drive you right into a heart attack.   Those caught up in heavy traffic have three times the risk of having a heart attack, according to a study presented to the American Heart Association by German researchers.

"One potential factor could be the exhaust and air pollution coming from other cars," said study author Annette Peters. "But we can't exclude the synergy between stress and air pollution that could tip the scale."

Peters interviewed survivors of heart attacks and found that about one in 10 heart attacks was caused by the stress and pollution of traffic.

Those most at risk for a traffic heart attacks were women, elderly men, those without jobs, and people with a history of chest pain.

And it didn't matter if they were driving, riding, on public transportation, or biking.

The researchers say their evidence shows that improvements in urban air quality should save lives.

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