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The World in Medicine
December 17, 2003

Ozone and Arterial Disease

JAMA. 2003;290(23):3057. doi:10.1001/jama.290.23.3057-a

Clinicians have long known that ozone, an intensely irritating and reactive component of air pollution, can have harmful respiratory effects. Now, a team of US and Swiss scientists has found that ozone produced within the body may contribute to atherosclerosis (Science. 2003;302:1053-1056) .

The researchers previously discovered that antibodies can generate ozone if they are supplied with a reactive form of oxygen that can be provided by neutrophils. They realized that since both neutrophils and antibodies have an opportunity to interact during inflammatory responses, ozone produced by antibodies might contribute to the damage caused by inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis.

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