Airborne Particles Negatively Affect Older Adults

Older adults exposed to particles in the air may experience diminished cardiovascular function, says a recent study. Published in the February issue of American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (2008; 177, 419–25), the study found that older adults exposed to miniscule indoor air particles could be at risk.

“Twenty-one nonsmoking couples participated in a randomized, double-blind, crossover study with two consecutive 48-hour exposures to either particle-filtered or nonfiltered air in their homes,” says the report. When exposed to filtered air, the subjects showed an 8.1% increase in microvascular function (MVF), whereas nonfiltered air was associated with exposure to iron, potassium, copper, zinc, arsenic and lead. “Reduction of particle exposure by filtration of recirculated indoor air for only 48 hours improved MVF in healthy elderly citizens, suggesting this may be a feasible way of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.” Such information might be of interest to individual older adults as well as fitness facility managers and owners wishing to beef up efforts to promote cardiovascular health.

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