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The World in Medicine
October 17, 2007

Diesel Smog and Blood Clots

JAMA. 2007;298(15):1752. doi:10.1001/jama.298.15.1752-d

Exposure to diesel exhaust promotes myocardial ischemia and inhibits the body's ability to dispel blood clots, a finding that might help explain why exposure to poor air quality is associated with adverse cardiovascular events, according to a study by researchers in Scotland and Sweden (Mills NL et al. N Engl J Med. 2007;357[11]:1075-1082).

The double-blind, randomized crossover study involved 20 men who had previously experienced myocardial infarction. The men were monitored via electrocardiography while they were exposed to diesel exhaust (at concentrations found in urban road traffic) or filtered air for 1 hour during brief periods of peddling an exercise bicycle and at rest.