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.